Who We Are

The History of Doe Run, a Natural Resources Company

Lead has a long history in Missouri. The Doe Run Company and its predecessors have had an active role in that history for nearly 150 years.

Doe Run is a privately held natural resources company dedicated to environmentally responsible metal production. The company’s history began in 1864 when its predecessor, the St. Joseph Lead Company, purchased land in Southeast Missouri and consolidated other local mining operations. Below is a snapshot of historic milestones since that time.

1800s
1870s The St. Joseph Lead Company began using diamond drilling exploration and discovered large underground bodies of ore in an area today known as the Old Lead Belt.
1890s The discovery of more ore reserves and increased production compelled the St. Joseph Lead Company to construct a smelter in Herculaneum, Mo.
1900s
1940s and 1950s Depletion of the ore reserves in the Old Lead Belt in the 1940’s drove the St. Joseph Lead Company to search for new reserves.
1950s Exploration efforts identified ore deposits north of Viburnum, Mo., in what is now known as the Viburnum Trend.
1960s The St. Joseph Lead Company began mining in the Viburnum area. Six mines and four mills along this trend are still operating today.
1981 The Fluor Corporation acquired the St. Joseph Lead Company.
1986 The lead operations of the St. Joseph Lead Company merged with those of Homestake Mining in 1986 to form a partnership, The Doe Run Company, a natural resources company.
1991 The natural resources company converted the primary lead smelter in Boss, Mo., into a lead recycling facility named Buick Resource Recycling Division (BRRD). The facility currently recycles more than 13.5 million lead-acid batteries annually, and serves as one of the world’s largest single-site lead recycling facilities.
1994 RENCO Group Inc. acquired The Doe Run Company.
1996 Doe Run acquired Seafab Metals and created Fabricated Products Inc. (FPI), a wholly owned subsidiary based in Arizona and Washington. FPI produces lead oxide for the manufacturing of lead-acid batteries, lead roofing materials, medical and nuclear lead shielding, and bullet materials.
1997 Doe Run acquired a mining operation, smelter and refinery in Peru, creating the subsidiary, Doe Run Peru.
1998 Doe Run expanded, adding two mines and two mills — Sweetwater and West Fork — to the Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division (SEMO). SEMO provides a consistently pure product using state-of-the-art automation to maximize the recovery of metals from the ore and ensure sustainable mining operations.
1998 Doe Run also acquired a primary lead smelter in Glover, Mo., from ASARCO. Doe Run’s primary smelting division, which also includes the Herculaneum smelter, transforms lead concentrates from Doe Run’s SEMO mines and mills into some of the world’s purest lead.

back to top

2000s
2003 The Glover smelter was placed on care and maintenance in 2003.
2004 Doe Run achieved 10 quarters of attainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for lead in Herculaneum. In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency re-designated the Glover facility as an attainment area for lead, following seven years of attaining air quality standards.
2005 Doe Run’s BRRD marked its second consecutive year of record recycling efforts, recycling more than 13 million lead-acid batteries for future use. The previous year, BRRD began processing parts of a decommissioned submarine, a first for the recycling division.
2006 Doe Run’s mine rescue team won the Best in State award at the Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Annual Southeast Missouri Mine Rescue Competition. The win was the first of five consecutive Best in State awards Doe Run eventually received until 2010.
2007 Doe Run Peru S.R. LTDA, became a sister company to The Doe Run Company, and no longer a subsidiary to Doe Run. The Peruvian operation, Doe Run Peru, began reporting directly to parent company, The RENCO Group. The new relationship better positioned Doe Run and Doe Run Peru to have greater agility to respond to customer needs and local issues. From that point on, the two companies operated independently of each other.
2008 Doe Run invested more than $3 million to complete the 60-plus engineering and administrative control measures that were outlined in the revised State Implementation Plan (SIP) for its Herculaneum smelter.
2009 The launch of an Enterprise Task Management System allowed Doe Run to track its roughly 6,000 monthly environmental tasks to ensure compliance.
2010 Doe Run unveiled a breakthrough lead production process that was proven to virtually eliminate sulfur dioxide and lead air emissions using lead electrowinning technology. Doe Run also produced its first annual sustainability report to track progress against its goal to be a sustainable natural resources company.
2010 SEMO earned its 25th Sentinel of Safety award, which recognizes the safest mines in the country. The 2010 award honored the Sweetwater Mine and Mill .
2011 Doe Run began working with area leaders on plans to repurpose Herculaneum property, following the decommissioning of the primary smelter in 2013. Doe Run and the Jefferson County Port Authority commissioned a port feasibility study that revealed repurposing the land into a Mississippi River port could provide an estimated 2,000 jobs.
2012 A partnership between Doe Run, MFA Oil Biomass LLC and the Missouri University of Science and Technology launched a pilot program to test the use of Miscanthus grass to transform mine tailings sites into potential biofuel crop sites.
2012 Doe Run’s ongoing research into electowinning lead progressed and the company filed for additional patents on a complementary co-products process that enables increased metal recovery of non-lead co-products. Further research on the electrowinning technology demonstrated that the use of the process on Doe Run concentrates did not provide a sufficient return on investment for a plant in Missouri. (Doe Run concentrates have significantly higher purity of lead and existing processes already provide for high metal recovery, whereas concentrates from other parts of the world could better benefit from the new electrowinning process.) Doe Run continues to pursue the technology in relation to other mining operations around the globe.
2012 The Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium, of which Doe Run is a founding member, debuted the LC Super Hybrid prototype car. The concept car demonstrates that micro-mild hybrid electric vehicles powered by lead-carbon batteries can provide consumers with reliable, affordable transportation that reduces carbon dioxide emissions, improves mileage and costs thousands less than other commercially available hybrids.
2012 The City of Herculaneum opened the M.R. & B.T. Railway Memorial Bridge, which was built on land donated by Doe Run. The improved access encourages future economic development along the riverfront and diverts plant traffic away from residential streets.
2012 BRRD and SEMO both celebrated 1 million work hours without a lost-time injury. This is the third time each facility has achieved the milestone in 60 combined years of operation.
2013 The Buick Mine and Mill received its sixth Sentinels of Safety award in the Large Underground Metal Mine category. The #29 Mine also was honored with its first Sentinels of Safety award in the Small Underground Mine Metal Mine category. Doe Run and its predecessors have now won the Sentinels of Safety, which recognize the safest mines in the country 27 times since 1971.
2013  For the first time in its 50 years of operation, SEMO reached 3 million safe work hours without a lost-time injury.
2013 As part of its commitment to both local communities and the environment, Doe Run invested more than $500,000 to install solar panels and energy efficiency upgrades at Herculaneum High School, and provided $300,000 to seven area school districts to retrofit school bus engines and reduce exhaust emissions.
2013 With the closure of the Herculaneum primary lead smelter in December 2013, Doe Run reorganized its business structure to better meet future opportunities. Doe Run created the Metals Division, which includes the remaining Herculaneum refining, alloying and casting operations and the company’s Resource Recycling operations in Boss, Mo., (formerly BRRD).
2014 Doe Run celebrates its 150th anniversary. Visit a Historical Timeline to learn more about how we've provided quality products to customers, jobs to local communities and economic vitality to Missouri along the way. 
2014 Missouri Enterprise honors Doe Run with the Missouri impact! Award for Continuous Improvement in Manufacturing Excellence.
2014 Jerry Pyatt, Doe Run president and CEO, called for the need to protect the nation's domestic minerals supply in a testimony before the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. 
2015 In May 2015, Fabricated Products Inc. (FPI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Doe Run, achieved 1.5 million hours without a lost time accident.

back to top