Here’s why the Arizona mining industry is flourishing

By ERIN THORBURN

The long-treasured love and nostalgia surrounding Legos has always been of the limitless possibilities involved. Despite the instructions included within many modern Lego sets, amazing, unforeseen and unplanned creations often far exceed the intended schematics. Think of the mining industry in a similar light. What mined metals currently offer in tangible goods, sustainability and renewable energy are simply indicative of today’s metal mining needs. Think about the metallurgy practice of 5000 BC. Would early smelters have conceptualized the need for copper in cell phones, electric vehicles and wind turbines? Entire combinations of mined metals and their potential uses have yet to even be conceptualized, but based on metal mining history, we know the future possibilities are limitless.

What we do know now is that there is — and will continue to be — greater demand and dependence upon mined metals for electric vehicles, electric-vehicle charging stations, consumer electronics, military applications and renewable energy technologies.

“Copper will be a key metal in the transition to renewable and sustainable energy,” says Francis McAllister, vice president of land and water at Freeport-McMoRan and chairman of the Arizona Mining Association. “Whether it is electric cars or solar or wind power farms, copper is a key component to environmentally beneficial energy.”

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