Many Missourians rely on the mining industry to provide them with rewarding employment. In 2008, the average job in Missouri paid $39,800.00, while the average pay for a mine employee was $73,182.00.
It is relatively simple to understand the importance of mining to Missourians as individuals, but we should examine the significant impact mining has on the economy of Missouri.
Mining generates approximately $8.56 billion into Missouri`s economy annually. The taxes paid by Missouri mines exceeds $67.9 million at federal, state and local levels. Transporting minerals in Missouri either by rail, truck and barge costs $227 million annually. Salaries to the 4,916 mining employees in Missouri, excluding fringe benefits, exceed $330 million annually.
When evaluating the contribution the mining industry makes to Missouri`s economy, it is apparent why Missourians strive to protect this viable industry. Missouri plays an important role in supplying our nation with its much needed mineral resources, which adds to the economic strength and security of the country.
In fact, Missouri`s importance to the United States of America is further emphasized by its ranking in mineral production. Missouri accounts for nearly 3.% of the total U.S. nonfuel mineral production value. Crushed stone, Portland cement, lead and lime, in descending order of value, accounted for more than 84% of Missouri`s total nonfuel mineral production value in 2006. Missouri remained first in the production of lead and lime and second in the production of fuller`s earth and sixth in the production of Portland cement in 2006.
Even with the significant role mining plays in Missouri, less than 1/3 of one percent of Missouri`s 44 million acres have ever been affected by mining since it began in 1720, and much of this land has subsequently been reclaimed.
Sources: U.S. Geological Survey, Minerals Yearbook 2006; and MERIC 2008.