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Major Metal Mining Companies

Updated: Jul 1

Across the face of the world, there are many damaging practices that must be done in order to facilitate human survival. For our modern machines and equipment, we often must take minerals and refine them, and further burn energy to make them into things that serve us. 

These technologies and the minerals that comprise them have brought many changes to places across the earth. Here are some of major operators in the chemical and element distribution industry that have operations to obtain these materials. 

These companies have a history with hundreds of thousands of families, and employ thousands of people to perform very responsible and safe work. Although sustainability is about reducing impacts and planning for a long future, these companies have a foot on both sides of the fence.

On their websites you can find sustainability information that will discuss the nitty gritty details. 

  • Freeport-McMoRan Inc. - NYSE: FCX - Freeport-McMoRan is one of the world's largest producers of copper and molybdenum. It operates the Grasberg mine in Indonesia, which is one of the world's largest copper and gold mines. Each of these elements are extremely important for modern technology. For instance, Molybdenum is used for spacecraft parts, furnace components, and other high heat environments. It is also an extremely valuable substance for making alloys to increase strength and hardness of steel. With assets exceeding $50 Billion USD, this company has significant impacts on the environment during typical operations. However, in the ESG Performance Data published online, FCX has made commitments to reducing impacts by as much as 50% by 2030. 

  • Rio Tinto - NYSE: RIO -  Rio Tinto is a multinational mining company that operates in several countries, including the United States and employs over 50,000 people. It is a major producer of iron ore, aluminum, copper, and other minerals. In the U.S., Rio Tinto has operations in Utah, including the Bingham Canyon Mine, one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world. Rio Tinto has decimated many vast regions of our environment, however, without the work that Rio Tinto performs, modern technologies like computer chips, fine electrical wiring, and Lithium based batteries. Rio Tinto has made commitments to becoming net zero by 2050 and has made changes to their business over the course of its history to support the United Nations Sustainability Goals.

  • BHP: BHP (formerly known as BHP Billiton) is a global mining company with significant operations in the United States. It produces a wide range of commodities, including iron ore, copper, coal, and petroleum. In the U.S., BHP has interests in mines and oil fields, such as the Escondida copper mine in Chile and the Olympic Dam copper-uranium-gold deposit in Australia. Open Pit Mining and the energy required to process minerals is an essential activity for modern engineering projects. Sustainability practices are published on the BHP website and show where they put their money and their mouth.

  • Barrick Gold Corporation: Barrick Gold is one of the world's largest gold mining companies. While its headquarters are in Canada, it has operations in the United States, including the Cortez and Goldstrike mines in Nevada. Gold mining requires sorting TONS of earth through large sifting machines. The process of obtaining gold ore from the landscape can cause vast devastation, but these permitted activities are occurring with oversight in many places. By sourcing gold from the earth, the rest of us can use it for its many purposes. 

  • Newmont Mining Corporation: Newmont is another major gold producer with operations in the United States. It operates mines such as Carlin, Twin Creeks, and Long Canyon in Nevada, as well as Cripple Creek and Victor in Colorado. These mines can obtain thousands of pounds of gold and can disturb ecosystems that are sensitive to noise and activity. However, without these minerals, many operations in the world would not be possible. There is a line.

  • Peabody Energy: Peabody Energy is the largest private-sector coal company in the world. While the demand for coal has been declining in the United States, Peabody Energy has historically been a significant player in the coal mining industry. Energy is essential for survival. Whether it be obtained from goal, natural gas, wood burning, or some other source, energy is extremely important. The projections of various agencies have shown an increase in demand for energy will continue. Renewable sources of energy and projects to obtain it must be developed.

Remembering that human progress comes with a cost doesnt specifically give us room to neglect our environment. However, these established companies have a track record of making big efforts to help us use our energy in more effective ways. After all, sustainability is about using what we have and making the most of our environment, not just having no impact at all.

With information about these companies readily available, you can read about many major projects across the world helping us to make better technology a more achievable vision.

Thanks for reading!


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