When it comes to the mining industry and environmental stewardship, perception is not reality. Too many believe the industry is made up of pickaxes and hardhats, when in fact miners use advanced technology to safely and efficiently collect and process minerals to minimize environmental impact and support the technologies of the future.
The U.S. mining industry operates under world-leading environmental, safety and labor standards. As mineral demands skyrocket and supply chains weaken, policymakers must consider where and how minerals will be sourced to build a new generation of electric vehicles, solar panels and sustainable technologies.
In the U.S., every new mine requires a reclamation plan to be submitted and approved with funding set aside to reclaim the land when mining is complete. Since 1980, the industry has helped reclaim over three million acres of mined land, restoring it to its original state and providing beneficial uses for recreation, wildlife habitat and more.
Miners live in the towns where they work, so environmental stewardship, or “good neighbor” policies, are at the heart of every mining project. The industry builds and maintains community partnerships, organizes volunteer opportunities and makes millions in charitable donations every year.
Modern technology is also helping predict changes to the landscape and minimize environmental impact. Many companies are beginning to use zero-emission vehicles on mine sites. Other technologies help miners extract minerals from mining waste, weaving a more circular economy into the mineral supply chain.
After mining is over, the land is reclaimed and restored. The industry’s reclamation efforts have earned some of the National Mining Association’s (NMA) member companies impressive reclamation awards.
Modern mining is responsible mining. The mining industry takes great strides to provide the minerals our economy needs while protecting the planet.
For more information on how the industry employs good neighbor policies, click here.
NMA President and CEO