Last U.S. lead smelting plant to close in December – higher ammo prices to follow

Lead from the Doe Run Company in Herculaneum, MissouriIn December of 2013, the final primary lead smelter in the United States will close.  The lead smelter, located in Herculaneum, Missouri, and owned and operated by the Doe Run Company, has existed in the same location since 1892.

The Herculaneum smelter is currently the only smelter in the United States which can produce lead bullion from raw lead ore that is mined nearby in Missouri’s extensive lead deposits, giving the smelter its “primary” designation.

The lead bullion produced in Herculaneum is then sold to lead product producers, including ammunition manufactures for use in conventional ammunition components such as projectiles, projectile cores, and primers.  Several “secondary” smelters, where lead is recycled from products such as lead acid batteries or spent ammunition components, still operate in the United States.

Doe Run made significant efforts to reduce lead emissions from the smelter, but in 2008 the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued new National Ambient Air Quality Standards for lead that were 10 times tighter than the previous standard.  Given the new lead air quality standard, Doe Run made the decision to close the Herculaneum smelter.

Last U.S. lead smelting plant to close in December – higher ammo prices to follow [continued]


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  • Ken Green

    Our globalist enemies have control of the money and are destroying us without firing a shot.

  • LetsTryLibertyAgain

    It is now impossible to manufacture ammunition from new components in the US, other than specialty non-lead ammo. There are other alternative materials for projectiles, but next, they’ll go after primers, ostensibly because they use small amounts of lead styphnate.

    We know that the power to tax is the power to destroy, but now we’re seeing that the power to regulate is also the power to destroy. The EPA has waged war on the coal industry. They’re picking winners and losers, and using punitive rules to regulate coal producers and users out of business. This is how this administration “encourages” alternative energy… by destroying their competition while giving tax dollars to companies like Solyndra. And now, this administration is using the EPA to regulate non-government ammunition out of existence to achieve their citizen disarmament goals.

    There is no need to repeal the second amendment if they can make it almost impossible for us to obtain ammunition.

    • peck2

      I reckon we will have to collect the ammo off of the carcasses’ of the regulator enforcers. This crap will also increase the price of batteries used in solar systems. Goodbye “alternative energy”. We are going to have to apply a total non-compliance attitude with this and all Federal regulations. Else we are doomed.

      • LetsTryLibertyAgain

        The cost of lead, like other metal commodities, has been almost skyrocketing lately. A few years ago, I was buying reclaimed lead wheel weight alloy (for casting bullets) on eBay for a dollar a pound, delivered. Now it’s more than double that price.

        I did buy 120 pounds of locally recycled lead alloy last week for $1.50 per pound, but as Lance said in Pulp Fiction, “these are friend prices.”

        Closing the only primary lead smelting operation in the US is going to further drive up the cost of lead. Of course, when you can print all of the money you want and run trillion dollar annual deficits, there is no reason for Uncle Sam to care if lead prices become ridiculous.

  • exlogger

    They have only been in business since 1892 but the EPA put them out of business just like so many other companies. I’d like to see a list of all the company’s the EPA has put out of business over the last 50 years and how many jobs have been lost (just might add up to today’s unemployed 90 million) not counting all the startup business that didn’t start because of the EPA.

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