January 12, 2021
As nations compete to lead the future of advanced energy, mineral...
The global pandemic this year has brought a multitude of challenges to the nation, our economy and the workforce. Every year on December 6th, we celebrate National Miners Day. This year especially, we stop to honor the contributions and acknowledge America’s miners. Wearing their hard hats and masks, this hard-working group is responsible for generating nearly a fifth of the U.S. GDP – developing the mineral inputs that strengthen America’s economy and better our world in the process.
This year’s observance comes at a time when policy leaders take steps to promote the importance of developing a supply of minerals and metals found on American soil; a priority that the incoming Biden administration has recently pointed to as key to the rejuvenation of our manufacturing industry.
Miners produce valuable mineral resources that benefit all Americans. The quality of life we enjoy is a byproduct of our domestic mining industry. Minerals mining provides for our energy needs, makes meaningful contributions to our national and local economies, enables technological advancements, builds our infrastructure and creates well-paying direct and indirect jobs that support our communities.
During the height of the pandemic, mines across the country continued operations as an essential industry, demonstrating the safe and reliable capabilities of U.S. mining while producing minerals that helped keep other industries afloat.
America’s miners have shown an unwavering commitment to hard work that has been the mining industry’s trademark for centuries. As the need for minerals continues to increase, our country will need a strong domestic mining industry to keep up with growing demands from manufacturing, technology and infrastructure, which require copper, nickel, iron and various other minerals.
To support America’s miners, policymakers need to find a collaborative path forward to begin reversing the decades-long import reliance on minerals. One such area, the mine permitting process, could be modernized to ensure that our vast domestic mineral resources are accessible and able to support U.S. mineral needs.
Many are simply unaware of how dependent we all are on minerals for our technology, transportation, national defense and communication applications used to power our world. America’s miners are often unrecognized for their vital role in the U.S. economy and December, when we celebrate National Miners Day, is an opportunity to change this.