The financial health of mining corporations – and the communities where their operations are based – are inextricably tied to available resources and the cycles of supply and demand. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, mining profits depended on large numbers of laborers. Many Western mining camps were rapidly transformed into cities. Communities installed electricity, telephone services, police, and schools during boom times. Conversely, towns were abandoned when local natural resources were exhausted. Today, with increased mechanization, many mining operations generate outsized profits while employing a small fraction of their previous workforce.