Last Remaining Lead Smelter In The USA Closing After 120 Years - The Firearm Blog 'Suddenly the US Armys obsession with lead-free ammunition makes perfect sense, it was about security not the environment." "A reader writes: The last remaining lead smelter, in Herculaneum MO, is closing down. This will undoubtedly affect the price of lead, since the lead that is mined in Viburnum MO will now be sent out of the US for smelting. Missouris Lead Belt has been the primary source of lead for the US since 1700. A lead smelter has been in operation in Herculaneum since 1892. This is why Lake City, Federal, and other ammunition companies have been located in the region."