NMA releases new factbook

THE National Mining Association recently released the latest edition, its third, of Facts about Coal and Minerals.

Donna Schmidt

Released last month, NMA spokesperson Eileen Haight told International Longwall News the data included is the most recent available and encompasses 2004 through December of 2006.

“The factbook contains detailed information regarding a wide range of coal and mineral mining industry topics and issues. Included in the factbook is updated information covering mining’s economic impact, including data showing mining activity on a state-by-state basis,” the group said in its release announcement last month.

The four-month long project came to fruition thanks to the collaborative efforts of the NMA’s communications staff, Haight noted. In this case, statistical services director Leslie Coleman and creative services director Kelly Metzler were the primary contributors.

In addition to an economic snapshot, information on the industry’s coal and mineral production, preparation and use, as well as data on workforce, mining and the environment, transportation and international trade are included in the book. NMA president Kraig Naasz called it “an invaluable tool for educating the public, policymakers and others on the vital contributions the mining industry makes to America’s overall prosperity.”

Amidst a strong coal boom littered with recent soft spots resulting from various sources, Haight told ILN the nation’s snapshot of the coal market continues to surprise.

“What is always amazing is how dependent the US economy is on the domestic production of coal and minerals,” Haight said.

“Not only does coal continue to provide half of US electricity, we potentially have an entirely new market – coal-to-liquids fuel – that would help reduce [our] dependence or foreign sources of energy. Further, we are finding more and more uses for metals and rare earths in new high-tech applications.”

Overall, however, the NMA is confident in the industry’s strength: “The book's statistical trends show an outlook for a continuing strong market for US coal and minerals,” Haight noted.

The factbook is “highly popular” for the organisation and the staff often receive order requests well in advance of printing, she said.

Naasz added: “I encourage NMA members to order copies of the factbook and distribute them within their companies and communities to foster a better understanding of the true value of America’s domestic mining industry.”

Haight touted the straightforward approach of the book for the general industry public as well.

“It is the blending of the creative and the statistical knowledge,” she noted.

Facts About Coal and Minerals makes a great deal of statistical and fact-based information relevant, easy to access, and interesting.”

For more information on the book or to order a copy, visit the National Mining Association website at www.nma.org