EP Minerals takes STEM to a new level

People conducting chemical experiment in modern lab

By Julie Brown julie.brown@epminerals.com

In an average day, you probably come in contact with over 100 products that have been manufactured or processed from industrial minerals. Industrial minerals are defined as non-metallic minerals produced from natural sources. Here at EP Minerals, we mine and manufacture diatomaceous earth (DE), perlite and clay. These incredibly high-quality minerals are used in an extremely broad range of applications in everyday life - both industrial and domestic. Without these minerals, a vast range of products would simply not exist. Surprised? Consider:

Sweeteners, beverages, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, textile raw materials, cooking oils and many other products are filtered with diatomaceous earth (DE) or perlite.

·       If you are indoors, the matte finish of the paint on a wall near you was created with DE.

·       The red dirt infield and pitcher’s mound on baseball fields comes from a special clay.

·       The water in the swimming pool that you enjoy may have been filtered with DE.

·       Farmers use DE or clay in their fertilizer as an anti-clumping agent. As a bonus, the DE or clay helps the fertilizer hold water once it’s applied.

·       If you work in an office, chances are good that the ceiling tiles above contain acoustical perlite and are painted with diatomite.

·       If you purchased any fresh meat or fish in the market recently, odds are that the clear plastic film over the product contains DE.

So how do industrial minerals relate to STEM education? Science and technology are playing an ever increasing role in new product innovation in the world of industrial minerals. Here at EP Minerals, we are committed to consistently innovating, developing and manufacturing revolutionary new products from our minerals. These new products, which we call engineered minerals, expand the current boundaries of what our minerals have been known to do, as we work with customers to provide innovative solutions and develop new markets and applications. Some of the recent engineered minerals products include an arsenic-removing adsorption product for water, a low metals product for the brewing industry, a low dust filtration product for swimming pools and an organic insecticide.

EP Minerals’ President/CEO Gregg Jones talks about how the company is evolving to meet customer demands: “We’re focused on new product development with our minerals. We’re creating unique, high-performance products that solve problems for our customers and change the landscape of what minerals can do,” said Jones. “And that changes the requirements for the kind of people we hire. We’re looking for diversity in education and background. Not just mining background but talents in other areas,” he added.

“We are one of the only mining companies headquartered in Nevada, and we may be the only minerals company with a research and development laboratory, and both business development and corporate engineering departments in the state,” said Scott Palm, EP Minerals’ vice president of strategy and innovation. “We see ourselves as more of a science and technology company than ever before, and that affects the kinds of positions we hire for today,” said Palm. EP Minerals focuses on four main areas for STEM-related jobs: Analytical chemistry, materials science, applications science, and process science and engineering. Given the wide range of EP Minerals operations, we look at hiring a variety of STEM talent, including minerals processing engineers, material scientists, chemists, chemical engineers, mechanical engineers, inorganic chemists, geochemists, earth scientists and mining engineers. In our exploration and mining efforts, we’re using advanced exploration and reserve modeling techniques to help us to both find and better understand new mineral deposits. We have been hiring geologists with both advanced degrees and experience in exploration and the use of advanced geologic modeling techniques and software,” said Palm.  

STEM education is key to EP Minerals as we develop revolutionary industrial minerals products for the future. We look for people with the education and technical background to understand our customers’ industries, whether it’s brewing, paint, chemicals, biofuel, agriculture or pharmaceutical.

To learn more about EP Minerals and the kind of STEM careers available, visit www.epminerals.com.


Julie Brown is Director of Marketing Communications for EP Minerals.