Alaska is a state steeped in a tradition of exploration, mining, and production.
In fact, the reason the state capitol is located in Juneau is due to the discovery and development of the AJ and Treadwell gold deposits. Other important areas around Alaska grew out of projects including Kennicott, Greens Creek, The Forty Mile District and Ft. Knox. The pioneers knew they were just barely scratching the surface on what gold and other precious minerals would mean to Alaska’s future. From Nome to the Ketchikan, mining opportunities in Alaska are as vast as the Last Frontier itself. Through direct and indirect jobs, state and local tax revenues, and royalties transferred to Native corporations, the mining of gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, and coal mineral mining plays a vital role in sustaining Alaska’s economy. Roads, docks, bridges, buildings, renewable energy sources like the hydro plants in Southeast— much of Alaska’s vital infrastructure— was built on mining. Mining today plays an active role in Alaska’s growth and economic well being. Through the responsible development of Alaska’s vast mineral resources, AMA keeps our mining tradition moving forward.
Mining is a Growing Force in Alaska’s Economy.
Mining is a growing force in Alaska’s economy, providing jobs for thousands of Alaskans and millions of dollars of personal income throughout Alaska. Alaska’s mining industry includes exploration, mine development, and mineral production. Alaska’s mines produce coal, gold, lead, silver, zinc, as well as construction materials, such as sand, gravel, and rock.
In 2017, Alaska’s mining industry provided:
- 4,500 direct mining jobs in Alaska.
- 9,000 total direct and indirect jobs attributed to Alaska mining industry.
- $700 million in total direct and indirect payroll.
- $250 million in payments to Alaska Native corporations.
- $109 million in state government-related revenues through rents, royalties, fees, and taxes.
- Mostly year-round jobs for residents of more than 50 communities throughout Alaska, half of which are found in rural Alaska where few other jobs are available.
- Some of Alaska’s highest paying jobs with an estimated average annual wage of $108,600, over twice the state average for all sectors of the economy.
- $34 million in local government revenue through property taxes and payments in lieu of taxes.
All Alaska Native corporations benefited from mining industry activity – in 7(i) and (j) royalty sharing payments, in jobs for shareholders, or through business partnerships.
- In FY2017, NANA received $247.0 million in net proceeds from Red Dog Operations and distributed $156.4 million to other Alaska Native regional and village corporations
- 55% of the 550 year-round jobs at Red Dog are filled by NANA shareholders, including Teck, NANA companies and other service providers
- Calista Corporation in western Alaska received millions of dollars in royalties and other revenue for mineral agreements, including lode exploration, placer gold production, and construction material sales
- 59% of all employees at the Upper Kobuk Minerals Projects, including contractor hires, were NANA shareholders in 2017
- Many Alaska Native corporations have taken the opportunity to develop businesses that serve the mining sector, such as NANA Regional Corporation, Iliamna Development Corporation, Calista Corporation, and The Kuskokwim Corporation.
Each year AMA commissions the McDowell Group to research the economic impact of Mining in Alaska. Continued investments by the mining industry ensure Alaska’s continued economic growth.
Click here to read the previous years of Economic Impact Reports for Mining in Alaska (2006 – present).