Mining in the United States has been active since the beginning of colonial times, but became a major industry in the 19th century with a number of new mineral discoveries causing a series of mining rushes. In 2015, the value of coal, metals, and industrial minerals mined in the United States was US $109.6 billion. 158,000 workers were directly employed by the mining industry.
- Carolina Gold Rush, Cabarrus County, North Carolina, US (1799)
- Georgia Gold Rush, Georgia, US (1828)
- California Gold Rush, California (1848–1855)
- Pikes Peak Gold Rush, Pikes Peak, Colorado (1859)
- Holcomb Valley Gold Rush, California (1860)
- Black Hills Gold Rush, Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming (1874–1878)
- Mount Baker Gold Rush, Whatcom County, Washington, United States (1897–1920s)
- Nome Gold Rush, Nome, Alaska (1899–1909)
- Fairbanks Gold Rush, Fairbanks, Alaska (1902–1905)
Mining by commodity
Top Commodities mined in the US, 2015
|Rank||Commodity||Value, US$ billion|
|4||Industrial Sand and Gravel||$8.3|
|7||Construction Sand and Gravel||$7.2|
|Source: US Geological Survey, Mineral Commodities Summaries, 2016.|
Mining by mineral
- Bauxite mining in the United States
- Coal mining in the United States
- Copper mining in the United States
- Gold mining in the United States
- Iron mining in the United States
- Molybdenum mining in the United States
- Phosphate mining in the United States
- Silver mining in the United States
- Uranium mining in the United States
- Zinc mining in the United States
Mining by state
- Category:Mining in Alaska
- Category:Mining in Arizona
- Category:Mining in California
- Category:Mining in Colorado
- Category:Mining in Michigan
- Category:Mining in Minnesota
- Category:Mining in Nevada
- Category:Mining in Pennsylvania
- Category:Mining in West Virginia
From 1880 to 1910, mine accidents claimed thousands of fatalities. Where annual mining deaths had numbered more than 1,000 a year during the early part of the 20th century, they decreased to an average of about 500 during the late 1950s, and to 93 during the 1990s. In addition to deaths, many thousands more are injured (an average of 21,351 injuries per year between 1991 and 1999), but overall there has been a downward trend of deaths and injuries.
The Monongah Mining Disaster was the worst mining accident of American history; 362 workers were killed in an underground explosion on December 6, 1907 in Monongah, West Virginia. The U.S. Bureau of Mines was created in 1910 to investigate accidents, advise industry, conduct production and safety research, and teach courses in accident prevention, first aid, and mine rescue. The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Acts of 1969 and 1977 set further safety standards for the industry.
In 1959, the Knox Mine Disaster occurred in Port Griffith, Pennsylvania. The swelling Susquehanna river collapsed into a mine under it and resulted in 12 deaths. In Plymouth, Pennsylvania, the Avondale Mine Disaster resulted in the deaths of 108 miners and two rescue workers after a fire in the only shaft eliminated the oxygen in the mine. Federal laws for mining safety ensued this disaster. Pennsylvania suffered another disaster in 2002 at Quecreek, 9 miners were trapped underground and subsequently rescued after 78 hours. During 2006, 72 miners lost their lives at work, 47 by coal mining. The majority of these fatalities occurred in Kentucky and West Virginia, including the Sago Mine Disaster. On April 5, 2010, in the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster an underground explosion caused the deaths of 29 miners.
Mines are often controversial in their local areas, with local residents split by those in favor particularly due to the economic impact of new jobs and those concerned by the environmental impact and occupational hazards. In the case of the proposed Crandon mine, the U.S. Supreme Court found that tribes have the right to regulate water and air which destroyed the economic feasibility of the project.
- List of mines in the United States
- Mine Safety and Health Administration
- United States Bureau of Mines
- Coal Wars
- Mine Owners' Association
- National Mining Hall of Fame
- Environmental issues with mining
- North Bloomfield Mining and Gravel Company, a prosecution in 1884 led to the Sawyer Decision, among the first environmental decisions in the United States
- Mountaintop removal#Legislation in the United States
- US Geological Survey, Mineral Commodity Summaries, 2016.
- Historical Data on Mine Disasters in the United States U.S. Department of Labor
- All Mining Fatalities By State U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, 15 January 2007
- Coal Fatalities By State U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration, 15 January 2007
- Bergquist, Lee. 2002. "Decision puts water quality in tribe's hands; Sokaogon can set standard near mine." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/4/2002, 1A.