Federal Land Withdrawals Threaten U.S. Minerals Security and Undermine Conservation Efforts
March 22, 2016
Unprecedented land withdrawals recommended by the U.S. Forest Ser...
Last week, Minerals Make Life celebrated Earth Day by recognizing the contribution minerals mining makes to land reclamation efforts and environmental stewardship.
In 2015, the Department of the Interior gave awards to three minerals mines for their outstanding environmental performance and successful reclamation of millions of acres of land. Reclamation is the process of restoring or improving land after mining operations have ceased. In fact, a mining project is not considered complete until the land has been fully restored. Once a mining company has restored the land, it can be used for farms, wildlife areas, wetlands, golf courses, community parks and housing that can be enjoyed by future generations.
Minerals mining reclamation projects also provide mining companies with the opportunity to engage in and contribute to local communities. In honor of Earth Day this year, for example, 300 students in Virginia learned about mine reclamation while helping plant 750 trees. And mining companies do not wait until the completion of a mining project to seek community involvement. The minerals mining industry is committed to being a good neighbor to the communities in which it operates. This means that companies actively seek community input and participation as early as the inception of a mining project to ensure that environmental standards are continuously being upheld.
The U.S. minerals mining industry works with state and federal agencies to set environmental standards. Mining companies not only follow these standards, but also take voluntary steps to protect wildlife and the environment. Mineral mining companies also adhere to guidelines set forth in the Environmental Management System, which outlines “clean up as you go” reclamations practices, empowering companies to navigate regulation and continually improve environmental performance.
U.S. minerals mining is dedicated to maintaining U.S. environmental standards while providing the critical mineral resources that foster innovation, build infrastructure, help the economy grow, promote job creation and secure the nation’s energy future.
To learn more about the federal land withdrawals issue, read the National Mining Association’s fact sheet here.