Doe Run, Missouri S&T Host Students At Explosives Camp

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Partnership gives students firsthand experience in growing career field

A group of local high school students started their summer off with a bang thanks to The Doe Run Company and the Missouri University of Science and Technology’s (Missouri S&T) Explosives Camp.

Culminating with the opportunity to observe a controlled explosion inside Doe Run’s Brushy Creek Mine, 60 campers took part in presentations, pyrotechnic demonstrations and lectures from the mining industry’s top educators. Three weeklong camps gave students an inside look at the profession of mining, the country’s best performing sector for job gains in 2010, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

Throughout June, campers received firsthand experiences with how explosives are used in industry and entertainment. Participants received instruction in the safe use of detonators, high explosives, blasting agents, rock blasting, display fireworks and demolition. At the conclusion of the camp, students organized and presented their own fireworks display.

“Missouri S&T’s Explosives Camps is truly a one-of-a-kind experience for students interested in mining,” said Steve Batts, general manager of Doe Run’s Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division (SEMO). “Demand for minerals and metals will only grow in the years to come, and I am thrilled Doe Run has the opportunity to educate future leaders in this growing industry.”

Missouri S&T became the first university to offer an emphasis in explosives engineering in 1997, adding an explosives engineering minor in 2005 and a master’s degree in explosive engineering in 2010. Doe Run has educated explosives camp participants since Dr. Paul Worsey, a professor of mining engineering at Missouri S&T, introduced it to a mere three students in 2004. By 2008, Doe Run and Dr. Worsey grew enrollment to three camps of 20 students each.

“Doe Run provides a great opportunity for our students to see how safe and advanced mining is performed,” Dr. Worsey said. “In addition to touring miles of mines that are 1,000 feet underground, they witness how Doe Run takes great care in protecting Missouri mines with progressive and precise blasting technology.”

With more than a century of underground mining experience, Doe Run operates six mines that sit underneath the foothills of the Ozarks in eastern Missouri. Doe Run uses a room-and-pillar mining process, creating “rooms” when the ore is drilled and blasted underground. The rooms are supported by rock pillars shaped by miners’ precise explosions, and they stand up to 120-feet tall and 35-feet wide. The mines Doe Run operates are mainly composed of dolomite, a rock known for its geological stability and strength.

Doe Run has a long-standing relationship with Missouri S&T. In 2009, Doe Run donated $150,000 to Missouri S&T for a new two-story, 15,000 square-foot mine building. The building houses three laboratories, three large classrooms, offices and a mining industry historic center. In May, Doe Run also donated another $100,000 to Missouri S&T toward the same building at the University’s Experimental Mine.

About The Doe Run Company
Based in St. Louis, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company and the largest integrated lead producer in the Western Hemisphere. Dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral and metal production, Doe Run operates one of the world’s largest, single-site lead recycling facilities located in Boss, Mo. The Doe Run Company and its subsidiary deliver products and services necessary to provide power, protection and convenience. Doe Run has operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona. For more information, visit sustainability.doerun.com

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Nathan Allen
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