Max Motley is the HSE Director for IDEA Drilling.
The 21st Century American is completely dependent on natural resources
whether they choose to realize it or not. The issue I have with the 21st Century
Anti-Mining American is that in my experience, they have a micro-understanding
of the full life cycle of the products and services they are using and the inputs
that go into these products.
They do not look overseas at the countries that produce these inputs
and the atrocities these countries commit both in regard to human
health and safety and to the environment.
In the last few years, our business has worked on exploration projects and mine sites in approximately 25 different states. Alaska to Hawaii, California to New York, our trucks and equipment have touched many parts of this country. We have drilled for Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Lithium, Niobium, Molybdenum, Nickel, Titanium, Scandium, Platinum, Palladium, Cobalt, Uranium, and other metals that I cannot remember, spell, or pronounce–but that is okay because I am not a geologist. Through all of our adventures, there are two constant elements, at least for me, no matter where we work in this country that hold true:
1. Geologists are who we work for, and I do not understand the terms they use, or the language they speak. I cannot even nod my head and attempt to look like I know what they are saying, they see right through me.
2. A good percentage of the anti-mining crowd in 21st Century America is either hypocritical, misinformed, but most likely both, as the answer usually lies somewhere in the middle.
About a month ago, we kicked off a project at a historic Zinc mine in California that operated from 1942-1945, during the height of World War II. One morning, as I was sitting in a coffee shop in Mariposa working on my computer, a gal tapped me on my shoulder. She had noticed my backpack, with our company name on it.
If you are someone who knows me, you know that I enjoy good banter, so I listened as she spoke to me on how mining is terrible, toxic, unregulated, unnecessary, not needed, etc. Towards the end of the 20 minute lecture, she informed me of how proud she was of her new Tesla car, and the sustainability of this vehicle as it does not rely on gasoline, and simply runs on electricity, hence making this vehicle not have a natural resource footprint.