Guest Post: Reflections on the Mining Industry and How it Sustains So Many in America

Posted on October 23, 2014 by Minerals Make Life

I have recently started reflecting on how the mining industry has contributed to Nevada’s economic sustainability by reflecting on how it allowed me to feed and clothe my family, buy a house and drive a dependable car; knowing that each of these purchases are helping to feed and clothe other families outside the industry. This was true regardless of where I was living. It did not matter if it was back East early in my career when I worked for State and Federal regulatory agencies as a mineral specialist approving mining permits, or in the mid-80s as the owner/operator of my own aggregate mining company—mining always provided me with employment. From Georgia to Florida, the mining of construction and industrial minerals always provided me with a good paycheck.

Later, when I moved to Reno, Nev., and worked for the Nevada Mining Association, mining still provided for my family. After that job, I think about my current work preparing NI 43-101 documents on mineral properties and the team of GIS specialists, junior geologists and outside consultants that assisted me. Each of these employees repeating the purchase of goods and services I previously listed above. Each of these purchases contributing to the economic health of vendors and suppliers in the Reno area. With multiple mining and exploration companies headquartered in Reno, along with dozens of companies providing goods and services to the industry, the economic health of Reno will continue to benefit from the presence of a robust mining industry.

I reflect on the millions of dollars raised by the mining companies and brought to Nevada to spend on exploration activities on these properties throughout rural Nevada that my team and I reviewed.   Imagine the purchases of lodging, fuel, food and other associated services need to make these exploration activities possible.

This entire economic stimulus is generated by hard working men and women trying to find minerals that when mined and transformed into usable materials generates true economic wealth and prosperity. 

And now, during the twilight of my 42 year career, I am now back in Reno after three long years in Washington State—a state whose economy is currently feeling the effect of duplicative, costly and unnecessary regulations. I am giving thanks every day to be back in Nevada, where a balance between economic and environmental sustainability is still for the most part being practiced by State and Federal government agencies, and not just given lip service.

Editor’s Note: Jon Brown is a certified professional geologist, mine permitting specialist and member of the Nevada Landmen’s Association. He’s spent his four-decade career working in both public and private industry executing mine planning and resource modeling, business development for mining and consulting companies and environmental permitting. In the following post, Mr. Brown lauds the “good paycheck” that the mining industry provides for his family and many others in the U.S. In fact, U.S. minerals mining provides local communities with high-earning jobs that pay 79 percent more than the average private sector job. Plus, every metals mining job generates 2.5 additional jobs elsewhere in the economy. That kind of prosperity contributes significantly to our nation’s economy. In 2013 alone, value added to gross domestic product (GDP) by major American industries that consume processed mineral materials was $2.5 trillion, or 14 percent of total GDP.

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