Interesting Facts & Tidbits About The Mining Industry

Welcome back to the one and only Wagner Equipment blog! We’ve been blogging fairly regularly of late, which we hope you have enjoyed. In case you are late to the party,  recent blogs you might want to check out include our list of interesting yet random facts about the construction industry, how to better motivate your crew as a construction foreman, and some signs of a healthy employe-employee dynamic on the job site, in case any of those interest you.

We tend to blog in a mini-series kind of format, and today’s blog will be no exception to that rule. In the past we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite construction-related facts, but in today’s post we’ll be flipping the page to some fun, surprising, interesting, and (of course) random facts about the mining industry. If you’ve got a few minutes and would like to indulge in a bit of modified trivial pursuit, then come along, this blog is for you!

 Did You Know?

  • Let’s start with a fun one — did you know that the term, “luck of the Irish” originated as a mining expression? You see, during the gold rush in Western North America, more than a few Irish immigrants proved to be successful prospectors in their time. As humans are wont to do, other people groups quickly stereotyped and attributed all overt success as nothing more than luck. 
  • Think mining is antiquated and unimportant? Think again. Minerals found under the earth are hugely significant to modern, 21st-century life. For example, did you know that a typical electronic device contains over 35 different minerals in it? Whether we are talking about your work computer, smartphone, or your TV remote control, modern electronics’ functionality is largely contingent on the use of zinc, copper, gold, and other minerals. By the way, did you know that zinc is completely recyclable, and that it helps boost your immune system? Pretty random and neat, if you ask us!
  • There’s more than one kind of “fool’s gold” out there. You are probably familiar with pyrite, but did you know that biotite mica and chalcopyrite are also deemed gold of the fool? 
  • Minerals matter to the U.S. economy as much as they anything else, accounting for as much as $6 billion annually in exports. 
  • The median annual income of the average miner is $43,653, not including bonuses, benefits, or overtime. While it might not seem like an exorbitant salary, it is the highest-paying industrial sector!
  • According to the Department of Natural Resources in Minnesota, a newborn infant will need a lifetime supply of the following amounts of minerals: 800 pounds of lead, 750 pounds of zinc, 1,500 pounds of copper, 3,593 pounds of aluminum, 32,700 pounds of iron, 26,550 pounds of clays, 28,213 pounds of salt, and 1,238,101 pounds of stone, sand, gravel, and cement. That’s right, you consume thousands of pounds of stone, sand, gravel, cement, and clay! Bring that factoid up at your next dinner party!
  • In state-to-state comparisons, Wyoming produces the most coal in the nation. 
  • Petroleum, or “petrol”, as our neighbors across the pond like to call it, has a wide range of uses, and most of them have nothing to do with fueling your car. In fact, petroleum is used in over 6,000 daily items, from plastic and crayons to DVDs and beyond!
  • We mentioned how zinc is effective in its capacity to boost the immune system to fight off colds, but did you know that your average American adult uses an average of 40,000 pounds of various minerals every year? This includes salt, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and many others!
  • Pure gold is so malleable that it can be easily molded with nothing more than a simple hand tool. Most people never get to experience this sensation though, seeing as how, you know, gold is fairly rare. 
  • Speaking of how rare gold is, did you know that more than 80 percent of the world’s total gold hasn’t been unearthed yet? That’s right, it’s still buried underneath the earth’s surface.  
  • The final fun fact of the day has finally arrived: gold and copper were the very first minerals to be mined. Archaeologists have found copper that dates all the way back to 8,700 BC. And, perhaps even more remarkably, others have found copper pipes that are estimated to be more than 5,000 years old! That’s some old-school plumbing!

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Contact Wagner Equipment Today

As fun as it is to read about fun mining facts, it doesn’t do much to move the dial in terms of helping folks in the mining industry with day to day operations. Don’t worry though — we’ve got highwall miners, hydraulic mining shovels, and a host of other mining machinery for rent and sale here at Wagner Equipment. We are among the top CAT dealers in the nation for good reason, so give us a call if you have any questions!