Colorado mining centres around coal, gold, silver, copper, molybdenum, and uranium. Mining operations are subject to strict regulations and environmental protections with Colorado mining recruitment trends tending towards professionals with environmental sustainability expertise. Coal, Colorado’s most abundant energy resource, is used in the production of more than 50% of Colorado’s electricity requitements. Colorado ranks 7th in the states in terms of total energy production with plentiful fossil fuel and renewable energy reserves. The diverse geological landscape includes large deposits of crude oil, natural gas, and coal. In 2021, Mining contributed $16.73 billion to Colorado’s annual GDP. Colorado holds the 8th largest recoverable coal reserve in the US and produces coal, from both underground and surface mines. Coal production in Colorado is used locally in the production of electricity.
While the demand for Colorado’s coal declined in the early part of the 21st century, production increased in 2017 for the first time in many years due to an increased foreign demand for US coal. IN 2018, 25% of the states coal production was exported but this boom was short lived and in 2020 only 7% of production was exported. Currently 60% – 70% of the states production is used local energy production within Colorado. As the US embraces the energy transition, opportunities for Colorado to shift gears and develop projects focused on the extraction of critical minerals abound.
Colorado mining recruitment trends indicate a shift towards renewable energy specialists and mining engineers able to improves the efficiency and environmental impact of mining operations. Colorado has several critical mineral deposits including Lithium, a critical component of batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage, rare earth elements including cerium, neodymium and dysprosium which have applications in various new technologies including smartphones, wind turbines and electric vehicles.
Colorado already has several mines that produce tellurium, a rare metal used in the production of solar panel. Colorado is also once of top producers of vanadium, which is used in the production of steel and other alloys. Finally, Colorado has deposits of uranium, the essential component of nuclear power generation. Colorado offers the skilled professional many opportunities in terms of mining employment. Colorado mining job opportunities include underground miners, surface miners, engineers, and environmental scientists. As Colorado adapts to embrace the energy transition, Colorado mining recruitment will focus on professionals with an innovative mindsets and leadership abilities. Colorado mining jobs will include green tech specialists and entrepreneurs with a growth mindset to facilitate the development of new mining projects and developments. Colorado mining jobs are well paid with average wages well above the state average.