Minerals provide the foundation for the American way of life. They inspire the innovation of new technologies, feed U.S. manufacturing and are vital to our national security. Minerals are put to use in lifesaving medical devices, our nation’s infrastructure, defense technologies, and the computers and communication systems that connect us to the world. They propel our economy and enable America to compete globally.
Below are some mineral facts provided by the National Mining Association:
- Minerals – The technologies that define innovation today all depend on a growing number of minerals. For example, computer chips were once made with a palette of 12 minerals. Today, as many as 60 different minerals or their constituent elements are used in fabricating the highspeed, high capacity integrated circuits that are crucial to this technology.
- Jobs – 1.3 million American jobs are supported by minerals mining. 433,000 people are directly employed, and 872,000 are indirectly employed.
- Wages – A job in U.S. minerals mining is one of the highest paying in the private sector with an average salary of $85,495 a year (74 percent higher than the combined average for all industrial jobs) and often climbing above $100,000 for experienced workers.
- Value – In 2012, $704 billion worth of processed mineral materials were used by sectors including construction, manufacturing and agriculture to add more than $2.4 trillion to the U.S. economy