Duluth News Tribune
Phillips S. Baker
*Phillips S. Baker is CEO of Hecla Mining Co., the largest silver-mining company in the U.S. It has operations in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Noxon, Mont.
Here’s a question: What does mining have to do with your cellphone?
The answer, surprisingly, is “a lot.” Whether you know it or not, your smartphone was constructed from a wide array of metals and minerals mined from deep inside the Earth. Smartphones, laptop computers, solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars require significant amounts of gold, silver, platinum, palladium, copper, tin and other metals. In fact, just about every device needed in the 21st-century economy relies on a number of these key metals and minerals.