Doe Run Celebrates 150 Years of Lead Mining and a Bright Future for Missouri Lead
20 Mar 2014
Industry Expects Five to Six Percent Annual Growth in Global Lead Demand, Totaling 16M Metric Tons Per Year by 2025
ST. LOUIS (March 20, 2014) – As The Doe Run Company (Doe Run) celebrates its 150th anniversary, the company is focused on meeting the growing demand for lead to power the future. This supply is needed to produce lead-acid batteries to provide start-up power for vehicles, as well as storing power generated from renewable energy sources.
“Over the past 150 years, Doe Run has revolutionized the mining industry and helped to develop one of the state’s most economically viable minerals,” said Jerry Pyatt, president and CEO at Doe Run. “While we celebrate our past and the progress we’ve made, we are excited to look forward and prepare for a bright future for Missouri lead.”
Thanks to lead’s many useful properties and a 98 percent recycling rate for lead-acid batteries, the metal plays a significant role in solving the world’s future energy challenges. For example, lead-based batteries are necessary to store energy from solar and wind farms.
In addition, 80 percent of all lead, and approximately 90 percent of Doe Run’s total lead production, is used in lead-acid batteries. More than 800 million passenger vehicles on the road today rely on lead-acid batteries, and new forms of lead-based batteries are also projected to power hybrid vehicles of the future.
“Over the past several years, Doe Run has proactively worked hand-in-hand with the Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium to research battery systems that lower the cost of emerging hybrid vehicles while improving long-term performance,” said Pyatt. “Through collaboration with this industry group and other partners, today we’re seeing concept cars such as the LC Super Hybrid concept car, which combines a carbon-enhanced lead-acid battery with other performance-enhancing features. The end result demonstrates the revolutionary ways lead-based batteries can outperform existing environmentally-friendly transportation technologies.”
Both the 12 volt and 48 volt LC Super Hybrid cars will be on display in Detroit, Mich., from March 31 to April 11, 2014. More information about the LC Super Hybrid is available online.
“Doe Run also is pioneering new methods to process and recover lead metal to support our modern lifestyle,” said Pyatt. “For example, we have successfully piloted a mineral recovery process to recover metals from chat, a gravel-like secondary material from mining nearly a century ago. By introducing new recovery methods, combined with our traditional underground mining operations, Doe Run is poised to continue delivering highly pure lead ore to meet the global market’s needs.”
Since 1864, Doe Run has bolstered Missouri’s economy and created a sustainable future for the state’s lead industry.
- Over the last 150 years, southeast Missouri’s major lead ore bodies, the Old Lead Belt and the Viburnum Trend, have supplied the world with high-purity lead that is vital to many industries.
- In its 150 years, the Company has produced almost 17 million tons, or 34 billion pounds, of primary lead metal.
- Doe Run’s secondary lead smelter in southeast Missouri helps meet the industry’s lead demand by recycling and recovering more than 160,000 tons of refined lead and lead alloys from more than 13.5 million recycled lead-acid batteries annually, which are the world’s most recycled consumer product.
- Supplying lead to support our modern lifestyle enables Doe Run to contribute nearly $1 billion to the state economy (including direct spending and employee compensation). Doe Run contributes $318 million annually to Missouri household incomes, generates more than $30 million per year in taxes for Missouri and spends more than $217 million on Missouri-based suppliers.
- Doe Run also employs close to 1,400 people in Missouri and supports an additional 6,600 indirect jobs.
Annually, each American utilizes 45,557 pounds of minerals, including lead, which is critical to transportation, communications, construction, healthcare, military and technology.
The lead ore and other natural resources in southeast Missouri are vital to these many products and materials, and must be handled responsibly to ensure a sustainable supply. Doe Run operates six underground mines, oversees more than 70,000 acres of land, including 38,000 acres of forest, and manages 30 million gallons of water entering its mines every day.
“We understand our responsibility to be good stewards of the resources in our care,” said Pyatt. “Those resources are the foundation of our business. We continuously explore ways to improve our operations so that we can deliver a strong lead supply well into the future.”
Read more about Doe Run’s history and the bright future for lead in a new 150th Anniversary brochure.
About The Doe Run Company
Based in St. Louis, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company and a global provider of lead, copper and zinc concentrates. Dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral and metal production, Doe Run operates one of the world’s largest, single-site lead recycling centers, located in Boss, Mo. The Doe Run Company and its subsidiaries deliver products and services necessary to provide power, protection and convenience. Doe Run has operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona. For more information, visit www.doerun.com and sustainability.doerun.com.