Primary smelters turn ore into lead. Secondary smelters recycle existing lead.
Quite a few people have been declaring that the EPA’s bullying of the nation’s only primary lead smelter into closing means the death of the U.S ammunition industry, but as John Richardson notes at No Lawyers – Only Guns and Money, at least one of the nation’s primary bullet manufacturers is saying that they aren’t that worried about it.
Sort of. Maybe.
It will be interesting to see how other manufacturers besides Sierra weigh in.
It is also worth noting that the company that owns the closing smelter, Doe Run, may re-open a more environmentally-friendly primary smelter literally across the street from the existing operation.
Let’s hold off on the freaking out until we see how much of an actual impact this may have.