December 28, 2016
The Minerals Make Life community has much to be proud of in 2016. This year we highlighted the many ways minerals improve our lives, the American economy and advanced technologies.
People are the core of U.S. minerals mining — the employees whose dedication and expertise define the mining workforce and mining’s friends and neighbors in communities across the country. Nothing is more important to U.S. mining than the safety of its workers and being a good neighbor and environmental steward.
Mining Companies’ Corporate Responsibility
While minerals and rocks are our business, people are at the core of U.S. minerals mining. Both the support of employees on whose dedication and expertise our state-of-the-art mining industry depends and our neighbors across the country whose support remains invaluable. Nothing is more important to U.S. mining than the safety of its workers and being a good neighbor and environmental steward.
While more than 80 percent of U.S. mining operations did not have a single lost time accident in 2012, mineral producers continue working hard to improve safety and health best-practices for the millions of mining jobs across the country. In 2012, U.S. mining endorsed CORESafety, a workplace health and safety initiative developed using the best wellness approaches of industries around the world. CORESafety seeks to eliminate fatalities and reduce the rate of worksite injuries by 50 percent by 2015.
Beyond providing a significant source of revenue to state and local governments, mining supports communities through contributions to educational initiatives and local charities. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold has provided $11 million in STEM education programs in order to benefit the generations to come, as well as ensure well-trained mining engineering candidates. A portion of these funds have been donated to a multi-sector effort called 100Kin10 to prepare, which will deploy and support 100,000 excellent STEM teachers in the United States over the next 10 years.
Mining companies invest heavily in the research and development of new technologies and processes to minimize environmental impact, part of what makes the U.S. one of the most environmentally cautious places in the world for mining. More than three dozen federal environmental laws and regulations — in addition to laws at the state and local level — are in place, governing all aspects of mining. Even before mining can commence, a plan to restore the proposed mine site to another beneficial use must be developed and approved by regulatory agencies, and funding must be set aside to complete the restoration work.
In addition, today’s mining industry frequently supports state and federal regulatory agencies in their efforts to address risks associated with legacy abandoned mine sites. Mining companies frequently contribute financial support, equipment, operator time, transportation and fuel to assist with remediation at these sites.
Over the past 35 years, U.S. minerals mining has reclaimed and restored hundreds and thousands of acres of land — creating parks, wetlands and recreation fields.