At the end of the month, the final primary lead smelter in the United States will close down for good. This lead smelter, located in Herculaneum, Missouri, is owned and operated by the Doe Run Company and has existed in the same location since 1892. It is currently the only smelter in the United States which can produce lead bullion from raw lead ore. Following production in Herculaneum, the lead bullion is sold to lead product producers, including ammunition manufactures, for use in conventional ammunition components. This would include projectiles, projectile cores, and primers.
So, why is the Herculaneum plant closing? The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports: “About 145 employees of the Doe Run lead smelter [in Herculaneum, Missouri] learned they will lose their jobs at the end of December because of the plant’s closure, the Doe Run Co. said Wednesday. An additional 73 contractor jobs also will be eliminated. Read more at