Our Responsibility

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.

While minerals 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.

Thanks to a dedicated mining industry and with some help from NMA’s CORESafety® framework, a workplace health and safety initiative developed using the best wellness approaches of industries around the world, 2017 was a record low fatality and fatality rate year for metal-nonmetal mining. The framework’s goal is to eliminate fatalities and reduce injury by 50 percent within five years of a company adopting the framework.

Beyond providing a significant source of revenue to state and local governments, mining supports communities through contributions to educational initiatives and local charities. For example, 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.

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.

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