industry almost exclusively male, a small group of women have
quietly been making a difference in getting legislative focus on
in 1993 when a determined group of concerned women working
primarily in the metal mining sector journeyed to Washington,
D.C., to address legislators about changes to the Mining Law of
Women’s Mining Coalition supports reform to the Mining Law of
1872 which provides a fair return to the public in the form of a
net income production payment to the government from minerals
produced from new mining claims on public lands; ensures
security of title and tenure from location of claims through
production; recognizes existing federal and state environmental
laws; and establishes an abandoned mines clean-up fund financed
with revenue from the net income payments.
believes the United States has an abundance of mineral resources
which are the foundation of a modern economy, and should be
developing its own mineral resources to lower, or eliminate
dependence upon foreign imports, while setting the standards for
environmentally responsible mining. .
those early days, the WMC has expanded to more than 1,000
members, both men and women, and includes participants from many
sectors of the mining industry, including coal, steel,
construction materials, the energy sector, manufacturers and
trade associations. In addition to the focus on changing the
Mining Law of 1872, the WMC also addresses the issues of
mountaintop mining and valley fill in the coal mining industry.
Wagner, PhD, Manager, Environmental and Public Policy, at
Molycorp, La Questa, New Mexico, and the current President of
the Women’s Mining Coalition, said, “We have a mission to
educate the public and the lawmakers with facts about the modern
mining industry, and the importance of the mining industry to
the economy, and even our daily lives. WMC members document the
industry’s commitment to resource stewardship and
environmentally responsible mining.”
came to the mining industry as a consultant on reclamation
issues. “I was hired by Molycorp to oversee reclamation and
environmental compliance issues. I am now the Manager,
Environmental and Public Policy, for the Molycorp Questa Mine in
New Mexico,” said Wagner.
involved with the WMC for a couple of reasons,” Wagner said. “It
seemed like a good opportunity for making a difference and
in advocating the importance of responsible mining. It also was
an opportunity to network in the industry, particularly with
women working in all aspects of the industry.”
is assisted in her efforts by a diverse executive committee
consisting of Vice President Jacqueline Cahoon, mine engineer at
Consol Energy, Inc.’s Robinson Run Mine in Harrison County, West
Virginia; Treasurer Cami Prenn, principal in Mine Development
Associates, Reno, Nevada; and Secretary Kimberly Wolf, senior
environmental engineer with Barrick Goldstrick, Elko, Nevada.
organization offers women in mining, whether it is hard rock or
coal, the opportunity to meet other concerned women in the
mining industry as we get out the word about our initiatives,”
said Wagner.” It
provides an avenue for expressing the importance of mining to
themselves, their families and their communities.
Spring some 50 plus members of the Women’s Mining Coalition take
part in a trip to Washington to spread positive information
about the modern mining industry to members of Congress and
their staffs. They converse, educate and present factual
information on current issues facing both the coal and minerals
mining industries. Participants meet with both Senators and
members of the House of Representatives.
Women’s Mining Coalition delivers the message that a strong
mining industry is vitally important to the United States and
that jobs across the country depend on mining. They also ensure
that elected representatives are aware that current regulations
and modern technology ensure state-of-the-art environmental and
safety protection at U.S. mines, throughout the various industry
sectors and within manufacturing facilities. Policy makers
receive first-hand information about the technological
advancements and environmental stewardship of today’s mining
industry, as well as the importance of industry jobs to local
communities and to the nation as a whole.
while in Washington, also hosts an annual luncheon with the
National Mining Association for congressional members and their
staffs from a variety of women’s, mining, rural and western
caucuses. In the past, WMC members have given testimony at
congressional hearings regarding critical workforce issues,
sustainable development, reclamation, NEPA reform, the
Endangered Species Act, mining law reform and other energy
major goals and objectives of the Women’s Mining Coalition are
Diversifying and expanding the membership and participation
Encouraging broader representation within the mining
industry-coal, metals, industrial minerals, construction
materials, manufacturing, suppliers, energy generation,
transmission, transportation, etc.
Expanding partnerships within various sectors of the industry.
Continuing outreach efforts with members of Congress and their
staffs by supplying them with information and examples of the
modern mining industry, providing them with an opportunity to
meet women who work in the industry, and illustrating the
industry’s role in helping to build a strong and secure United
States of America.
1993 Accomplishments include:
Organizing and coordinating trips to Washington, DC. - numerous
trips since 1993- for mining industry advocates to meet with
members of Congress on mining issues.
Working collaboratively with national, regional and state mining
associations and industry leaders on message points for mining
Providing information on mining to members of Congress and the
Administration in support of reasonable legislation and
Organizing letter-writing campaigns at industry conventions.
Submitting comments to federal agencies on various mining
Participating in industry-sponsored events on Capitol Hill.
Testifying at Congressional Hearings.
Participating in state mining-related issues and hearings.
Recognition-Honoring women in the mining industry, 1993 Elko
Initiation of Adopt-a-Legislator (AaL) Project, with
constituents from the mining industry and manufacturers
contacting legislators on issues to mining.
Co-sponsoring the Constituent Outreach Recruitment Program –
evolved from AaL.
Regarding the reforming of the Mining Law of 1872, the WMC is
encouraged. “Our legislators recognize the importance of a
domestic mining industry and will want to continue to produce
minerals in the USA,” said Wagner. “People who want to help can
do so by writing to their members of Congress supporting our
message. More information can be found at the National Mining
and through the National Mining Association ACT Online
Harry Reid, Nevada, is a strong supporter of the WMC.
its inception,” Reid said, “the Women’s Mining Coalition has
been a leading voice for the important role that mining plays in
the economy of Nevada and our nation. The Coalition has
tirelessly promoted the role that women now play in all aspects
of mining, and has sought to educate young students about the
wide array of jobs available to women in today’s mining
industry. But, its most important contribution may be the way
that the members of the Women’s Mining Coalition help to put a
very human face on those behind mineral production in America.”
become a member of the Women’s Mining Coalition, and participate
in the legislative process on behalf of yourself, your family,
community and industry, call 775 829-2121, extension 16. Be
advised that messages may not be checked daily by the WMC.