Modern Mining is Responsible Mining: How the Industry Prioritizes Environmental Stewardship

Posted on September 18, 2023 by Minerals Make Life

As an essential industry, miners deliver the raw materials necessary for modern society. From our roads, houses and cars to computers, electric vehicles and solar panels, minerals are the backbone of our economy.

The mining industry is dedicated to being environmentally responsible, while continuing to provide the raw materials that make modern life possible. Once minerals are located and extracted, mining companies work to restore the land to its original state or better than they found it. No mining project is finished until the land has been fully reclaimed. The mining industry has reclaimed over three million acres of land since 1980. And it doesn’t stop with the land – the industry closely collaborates with local communities to ensure the smartest, safest and most respectful use of resources.

The mining industry has an open relationship with local farmers, working hard to ensure their land and livestock aren’t affected by mining. The industry also organizes volunteer opportunities and makes millions of charitable donations every year.

Being a good steward is the right thing to do – and that’s why we do it.

Scott Hill

Operational Readiness Manager at Coeur Mining

Mining companies work hard to weave sustainability into every aspect of their processes. Perpetua Resources’ partnership with Iron Woman Construction and Environmental Services is a prime example. The partnership with this Native-American-owned company is expected to move over 300,000 tons of legacy mine waste away from sensitive water sites.

We believe our early cleanup work shows that responsible partnership with private industry can help improve environmental conditions at historical mine sites.

Laurel Sayer

CEO of Perpetua Resources

There are more than three dozen federal laws, in addition to both state and local laws, that govern the mining industry’s relationship with the environment. However, the industry goes above and beyond what is required by law. Mining companies collaborate with organizations like the Appalachian Region Independent Power Producers Association (ARIPPA) to offer competitive awards to watershed and conservancy organizations that facilitate abandoned mine drainage (AMD) and/or abandoned mine land (AML) remediation projects. In fact, since 2010, $90,000 has been awarded in Pennsylvania alone. Over $11 billion has been invested to reclaim mines that were built before reclamation was mandated by law. To keep the promise of minimized risk, miners conduct thorough inspections that test water, air and soil quality, both on and off the mining site. Restoration plans are embedded into mine projects before shovels ever hit the ground.

We want to preserve the environment – we want to leave it better than we found it, all while producing the precious metals that we need.

Katie Heazlett

Senior Environmental Coordinator at Coeur Mining

To get a deeper lens into mining’s relationship with the environment, check out this video.

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