Montana's mining industry is critical for the state, the region, and the nation. The Treasure State was well named as it contains world class deposits of copper (wiring), molybdenum (steel), platinum group metals (catalytic converters), talc (plastics, paint, paper, and catalytic converters), bentonite (pet litter), limestone (cement, water and air purification), and coal (fuel, electricity generation). Smaller deposits of gold (circuitry, heat control on glass), lead (batteries), zinc (rust control on metal), silver (water purification and photography), garnets (abrasives and computer controlled cutting of metal), sand and gravel (roads and construction), and decorative stone (building construction) abound throughout large regions of the state.
Without our mining industry, these resources would have to be produced elsewhere and many would require us to be dependent on foreign sources such as we are for oil and gas.
The actual disturbance from currently permitted mining operations is less that .04% of Montana’s surface and substantially less area than that of highways, parking lots, or civil structures.