Other Minerals We Mine
According to the Copper Development Association Inc., copper ranks third after iron and aluminum, in the quantity consumed in the United States. Copper serves as a major industrial metal because of its malleability, thermal and electrical conductivity, resistance to corrosion, and ease in making copper wire or thread.
Copper is widely used in plumbing and electrical wiring in residential and industrial construction, and as a conductor of electricity for power generation and electronic product manufacturing. Copper wiring is necessary to run electrical currents in household appliances, heating and cooling systems, and telecommunications links, as well as to operate vehicle motors, wiring and brakes. It also provides nutrients and helps to prevent bacteria in drinking water. Many anti-plaque mouthwashes, toothpastes and other medicines contain copper to fight bacteria, while copper sink strainers and scourers for pots and pans prevent cross-contamination in the kitchen.
Doe Run recovers copper in concentrate at our mills. The milling process takes ore from the mines, crushes it into a sand-like substance and then chemically floats the copper away from the crushed rock. Doe Run produces approximately 30,000 short tons of copper concentrates per year.
Zinc is the second most common trace metal, after iron, naturally found in the body, and it is essential for boosting the immune system, helping cells to grow, regulating appetite and healing wounds. It is irreplaceable in everyday products such as sunblock, cosmetics and surgical tools. Zinc is a highly recyclable metal. According to the American Galvanizers Association, more than 80 percent of zinc available for recycling is currently recycled. Due to the long lifespan of most zinc-coated products, like galvanized steel, much of the zinc produced in the past is still in use. When zinc is combined with copper, it creates brass.
Doe Run’s zinc is recovered using a flotation process similar to that used for copper. This results in a sandy, concentrated material that contains approximately 60 percent zinc. Doe Run produces an average of 50,000 short tons of zinc concentrates annually.
Small traces of other metals including silver, iron and alumina can be found in ore extracted from Doe Run’s mines.