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Thread: Last US lead smelter shut down by the EPA

  1. #1
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    Default Last US lead smelter shut down by the EPA

    Last US lead smelter shut down by the EPA
    Well all the lead will have to come from China now!
    Glen
    Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
    I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
    All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

  2. #2
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    Great. Battery prices will go up, ammo prices will go up, electrical and plumbing solder will rise and the production of evrything made with lead will shift out of country. Our real unemployment rate will go even higher. And if we consume the same amount of everything the total pollution will not decrease.

    I'm glad I'm the age I am, but it is a real shame for our children...

    paul
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  3. #3
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    Nothing stopping you from recycling lead at home-shop level.

  4. #4
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    Lightbulb

    There are non-lead alternatives that may (or may not) be superior and comparable in cost:
    http://huntingwithnonlead.org/bullet_types.html
    http://www.shootingtimes.com/2011/03..._bores_033111/
    http://www.rifleshootermag.com/2011/...-lead-bullets/

    Perhaps eventually we will have plastic or ceramic ammunition (to match the 3-D printed weapons).

    And there may be other types of weapons that won't need a projectile and yet be even more effective.
    Last edited by PStechPaul; 12-02-2013 at 03:53 AM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PTSideshow View Post
    Last US lead smelter shut down by the EPA
    Well all the lead will have to come from China now!
    Aluminium may not be too far behind. In 2000 China had 20% of the world's aluminium smelting capacity. Today they are at 45%.

  6. #6
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    So that will give China the ability to turn off the tap. The lack of foresight from government ( in most countries) is mind boggling
    Clive

  7. #7

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    I just replaced the battery in my '00 Silverado on Friday, so the next one will probably cost more than the truck is worth.

    The OEM battery lasted six years, the replacement from Battery Source lasted seven years, and I'm hoping the new one from BS will do as well.
    The law of gravity is fine, but the minimum sentencing guidelines are much too harsh.

  8. #8

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    You can say what you want about the EPA, but when you watch a video of something taking place in China, India, or a lot of other places, pay attention to the smog they live with on a daily basis. With a big paper mill and a fertilizer company nearby, the place where I grew up was often like the third world countries with no EPA are now.
    The law of gravity is fine, but the minimum sentencing guidelines are much too harsh.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by clive View Post
    So that will give China the ability to turn off the tap. The lack of foresight from government ( in most countries) is mind boggling
    Clive
    Me too. Once they have all the semiconductor fabrication plants, we're screwed.

  10. #10
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    Here is a post copied form a firearms site.
    This guy seems to be quite knowledgeable about mining and mineral resources.
    If he's right, there's nothing to worry about.

    1. Lead for bullets is a very small tonnage. There is a dramatic amount of lead stock available compared to the tiny usage for bullets. Lead-acid batteries are the largest consumer by far - about 90% of all lead stock. Bullets consume << 1% of lead production.

    2. Primary lead smelting (like at Doe Run) has been going the way of the dodo bird for decades. Doe Run's Herculaneum Smelter was actually an anomaly - they had a few lead mines in the area that produced very pure lead concentrate, allowing a smelter that just produced lead. Most "primary" lead smelters live on by-products like silver, as there just isn't enough money in lead production. Herculaneum itself was trying to change too - back in 2001 when I was last there they were installing a silver circuit since their traditional concentrate sources were drying up and they were running "dirty" concentrates that contained - you guessed it - silver, amongst other things (bismuth, antimony, copper, tin, and gold are some of the other pay metals most lead smelters have been chasing for decades now).

    3. There is LOTS of secondary lead smelting in the US. Lead is the most recycled metal on earth, and many, many operations specialize in recovering and re-alloying lead. There are smaller smelting operations that just focus on recovering lead from historical slags from long-defunct lead smelters. They will be running for decades. I would suggest that just one of the lead recycling operations I know of in Texas could supply all the bullet lead the US would ever use.

    4. There are still lead smelters operating in the US. Doe Run's operation was unique in that it only smelted lead concentrate. Most "lead smelters" now are associated with zinc operations.

    5. There are several large lead smelting operations in Canada that can again supply all Canadian and most US needs quite easily. Most of them run low lead production levels for economic reasons. If lead prices improved enough, they could easily increase lead production. The Teck Lead Smelter in Trail (Trail Operations) produces less than 1/2 of its proven lead capacity. A switch there alone to produce closer to capacity would result in more lead production than Herculaneum produced.

    So basically, I call BS on the claim that this will impact ammo production. Considering the tiny amount of lead used for ammo, and considering the small cost of the lead vs. the cost of the ammo, even a large increase in lead prices won't have much impact on ammo prices (assuming a free market for ammunition). There is a LOT of lead production available in N. America (I didn't even touch on all the lead-silver smelters in Mexico), a LOT of lead recycling capacity, and a lot of unused production capacity currently.

    Best Regards, Geraldo
    Mike

    My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

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