Mining facts

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Facts from the National Mining Association

  • Every American uses an average of 40,000 pounds of new minerals each year.
  • Mining has touched less than one-quarter of one percent of all the land in the U.S.
  • About 320,000 people work directly in mining throughout the United States and employment in industries that support mining, including manufacturing, accounts for another 3 million jobs.
  • Processed materials of mineral origins account for 5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product.
  • Only 3 million acres of public land, about the size of a county in Nevada, have gone into private ownership from mining, compared with 94 million acres granted to railroads and 288 million acres as agricultural homesteads.
  • Minerals account for U.S. exports of as much as $6 billion per year.
  • A television requires 35 different minerals; 40 minerals are used to make telephones and 15 minerals are needed to make a car.
  • The United States is the world's second-largest producer of copper and gold.
  • The United States has the world's largest reserve of coal.
  • Wyoming is the nation's top coal-producing state.
  • The average miner earns $43,653 per year in salary, not including overtime, bonuses and benefits, making mining the highest-paying industrial sector.
  • Investment in technology, training and equipment has made the U.S. mining industry the safest in the world.

A newborn infant will need a lifetime supply of:

  • 800 pounds of lead
  • 750 pounds of zinc
  • 1,500 pounds of copper
  • 3,593 pounds of aluminum
  • 32,700 pounds of iron
  • 26,550 pounds of clays
  • 28,213 pounds of salt
  • and 1,238,101 pounds of stone, sand, gravel and cement

Facts from learningaboutmining.com

  • The average American now consumes 37mil lbs. of minerals, metals and fuel, over the course of a lifetime. That includes 2,000lbs of copper, 6,000lbs of aluminum, 1,000lbs of lead, 1,000 lbs. of zinc and 1.8 oz of gold per person.
  • Mining has touched less than one-quarter of one percent of all the land in the U.S.
  • About 320,000 people work directly in mining throughout the US and employment in industries that support mining, including manufacturing, accounts for another 3 million jobs.
  • Only 3 million acres of public land, about the size of a county in Nevada, have gone into private ownership from mining, compared with 94 million acres granted to railroads and 288 million acres as agricultural homesteads.
  • Minerals account for U.S. exports of as much as $6 billion per year.
  • A television requires 35 different minerals; 40 minerals are used to make telephones and 15 minerals go into making a car!
  • The U.S. is the world's second-largest producer of copper and gold.
  • The U.S. has the world's largest reserve of coal.
  • Investment in technology, training and equipment has made the U.S. mining industry the safest in the world.
  • Some believe that the reason policemen in the USA are nicknamed "cops" or "coppers" is to do with their uniforms which used to have copper buttons.
  • Slag dumps in Asia Minor and on islands in the Aegean Sea indicate that man learned to separate silver from lead as early as 3000 B.C.
  • Nevada lands directly affected by mining is one tenth of 1%. That is not bad considering that it is 110,561 square miles and ranks 7th in the United States in size. It ranks 43rd in population at 800,493 people (1980 census).
  • In ancient times salt was traded ounce for ounce for gold. Salt was once made into 'coins' and 'cakes' in china and the Mediterranean for use as currency. Several cultures levied taxes on salt.
  • Gold was first legalized as money as early as 1091 BC in China as an alternative to silk. Gold is still the only universally accepted medium of exchange.
  • Coal was used widely in England in the 1600's because of wood shortages. Brewers had decided to try to dry their malts with coal generated heat but the fumes were absorbed by the brew, ruining the taste. The brewers found, however, that the undesirable gases could be eliminated if the coal was first heated in an air tight oven. Thus the discovery of the coke making process that has since been an essential part in the making of iron and steel.
  • Gold is the most ductile (easily molded or shaped) of all metals, allowing it to be drawn out into tiny wires or threads without breaking. As a result, a single ounce of gold can be drawn into a wire five miles long. Gold's malleability is also unparalleled. It can be shaped or extended into extraordinarily thin sheets. For example, one ounce of gold can be hammered into a 100 square foot sheet.
  • The greatest gold rush in U.S. History began when gold was discovered at Sutter's mill in California by a man named James Marshall on January 24th, 1848.
  • Because of the California gold rush there were enough people there by 1850 for California to be admitted into the Union as a state.
  • The Pikes Peak gold rush in 1859 opened up Colorado and launched the city of Denver.
  • Homestake mine, in Lead, South Dakota, is one of the largest gold mines in the US. Operations began on April 9, 1876 and is the oldest continually operating gold mine in the world.
  • 2000 years ago the Chinese used an alloy of nickel.
  • Pure nickel was first isolated in 1751 by Axel Cronstedt, a Swedish scientist.
  • The Soviet Union is the worlds top nickel producer weighing in at about a fourth of the world total in nickel production.
  • Nitric acid was one of the first acids known. Many alchemists of the Middle Ages used it in their experiments.
  • Salts are taken from the ground and purified...and end up on your kitchen table. Deposits were formed by the evaporation of large parts of oceans millions of years ago. In these natural formations also occur calcium carbonate and potash. Underground salt deposits are found all around the world.
  • There are two methods of removing salt form the ground...room and pillar mining and solution mining.
  • Of the 50 states in the union ALL of them mine something.