The production, longevity, and riches are legendary; 337 million ounces of silver and more than 17 million tons of lead and zinc were produced during nearly a century of operation. Today’s value of the minerals taken is nearly $50 billion dollars. Put in perspective, the nine million tons of lead produced during its lifetime by the astonishing Sullivan Mine in British Columbia was enough lead to manufacture 500 million lead-acid batteries for automobiles, and the mine also produced enough zinc, eight million tons, to supply the zinc content in 160 million cars.
In addition to a treasure trove of minerals, the Sullivan Mine provided immense ancillary benefits to mine employees and surrounding communities. It’s estimated that Sullivan paid in excess of $5 billion in wages and benefits and another $20 billion in direct contribution to the local economies, such as taxes, payments to suppliers and the purchase of local services. Economists postulate that Sullivan’s $20 billion in direct contributions equated to three times that amount in…
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