Boron’s Essential Role During COVID-19

:: Monday, May 4, 2020
In March, as shelter-in-place directives became more widespread, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced that agriculture, and those involved in production agriculture, would maintain operations as a critical industry.

Today, more than ever before in the 21st century, the conversation of food—where it comes from, who produces it and why isn’t there enough of it on grocery store shelves—is on the lips of consumers as the U.S. defines just how critical the country’s agriculture infrastructure truly is to feeding the population.

Key drivers in those conversations, amidst another year of less than breakeven commodity futures, are sustainability and productivity working in unison across the agriculture system—something with which boron can help.

How boron helps

From coast to coast and around the world, boron helps farmers boost crop yield and quality by supporting plant:
  • Development below-ground and above-ground biomass
  • Pollination
  • Uptake of other essential nutrients

Boron mining is essential to agriculture production—essential to feeding a hungry planet. And, keeping our employees healthy and safe is essential to Rio Tinto, as we make every effort to protect the employees who keep production agriculture supplied with boron.

What we’re doing to stay safe

Our team at U.S. Borax is taking every measure, as advised by the federal, state of California, and local governments to protect our on-site, essential employees. We have deployed protocols to minimize all group gatherings, increased sanitization measures, and implemented 100% blanket temperature testing for all people entering the site, among many other controls and precautions. Additionally, company-wide measures, which include Centers for Disease Control directives, are in place to help protect and minimize COVID-19 infection for all employees, including those working from home.

These truly are unprecedented times: For physical wellbeing, for the economy and for our nation’s food system. And, with boron deemed as a critical infrastructure in the chemical, energy, and agriculture sectors, we at U.S. Borax are grateful to be able to do our part in keeping the United States moving forward during this time of crisis.


U.S. Borax, part of Rio Tinto, is a global leader in the supply and science of borates—naturally-occurring minerals containing boron and other elements. We are 1,000 people serving 650 customers with more than 1,800 delivery locations globally. We supply around 30% of the world’s need for refined borates from our world-class mine in Boron, California, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Learn more about Rio Tinto.

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