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The US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has listed mineworkers as essential critical infrastructure workers and deemed miners vital to the national effort against the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce’ list is intended to help state, local, tribal and territorial officials as they work to protect their communities while ensuring the continuity of critical functions of public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.

The list identifies workers “necessary for mining and production of critical minerals, materials and associated essential supply chains” as part of the critical workforce. There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors listed, including healthcare, law enforcement, transportation, and workers in the energy sector.The National Mining Association (NMA) applauded the inclusion of mineworkers in the list. NMA CEO and President Rich Nolan said: “Mining underpins every aspect of our economy, providing the metals, minerals and coal that are essential to nearly every sector identified as critical infrastructure under DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) National Infrastructure Protection Plan. It was gratifying to see DHS reiterate the importance of our industry during this crisis.”

While minerals and metals are used in virtually every sector of business and manufacturing, the Department of Homeland Security specifically named energy and critical manufacturing, including that of medical equipment, as two key segments that need mined materials during the ongoing Covid-19 situation.

 At the time of writing, there are 142,410 confirmed Covid-19 cases in the United States, and there have been 2,505 deaths.