A message from the Executive Director:
On May 10, we celebrated the fifth annual Alaska Mining Day. Established in 2013, Alaska Mining Day was created through legislation sponsored by Senator Cathy Giessel “to recognize and honor the intrepid individuals and industry that played an enormous role in settling and developing the territory and the state and that continue to contribute to the economy of the state.”
Mining Day is designated as May 10, as on this date in 1872, the General Mining Act of the United States was approved, which governs mineral development on federal lands. This law has been amended more than 50 times but the essential principles remain in place: if a citizen explores federal public land not otherwise designated as a park, refuge, etc., and with their own energy, intellect, finances, and hard work and finds a valuable mineral deposit, that citizen, after obtaining the required environmental and operating permits, has the right to develop that mineral deposit.
I share Senator Giessel’s view that today, mining is a top economic driver for our state. Alaska’s six large mines, hundreds of placer mines, and dozens of exploration projects provide for some amazing economic benefits. That’s why it is with pleasure that we unveiled our Economic Benefits of Alaska’s Mining Industry report on Mining Day. This report, which the McDowell Group produces annually following study of the economic impact from mining in Alaska, boasts impressive numbers:
• 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
• Some of Alaska’s highest-paying jobs, with an estimated average annual wage of $108,600; twice the state average for all sectors of the economy
• $34 million in local government revenue
• $109 million in state government revenue
• $250 million to Alaska Native Corporations
• $580 million in procurement from 600 Alaska vendors
• Mostly year-round jobs for residents of more than 55 communities throughout Alaska, most of which are found in rural Alaska where few other jobs are available
Please continue paging through this issue to see much more detailed information on the report.
I’m also so pleased to share that this year, AMA partnered with the First Things First Alaska Foundation to produce the Economic Benefits of Southeast Alaska’s Mining Industry. Here too we find amazing data from our mines and projects, specifically in the Southeast region:
• 800 direct mining jobs
• 1,600 total direct and indirect jobs attributed to Alaska mining industry
• $121 million in total direct and indirect payroll
• Some of Alaska’s highest-paying jobs, with an estimated average annual wage of $111,370; more than twice the regional average for all sectors of the economy
• $3.8 million in local government revenue
The full statewide industry in-depth report, brochure booklet featuring operations, projects, and map, and the Southeast Alaska report may be downloaded on our website at:
These are your tools to use to show how Alaska’s miners provide for thousands of jobs and millions in revenues throughout our state. Please use them to spread the good word of how mining works for Alaska. Also, I’d like to extend a special thank you to McDowell Group for their work to compile this information for over ten years.
Finally, I’d like to thank the many of you who make our story so good. You are part of successful, responsible operations that make our industry thrive. You provide extensive data to McDowell Group to ensure our reports are accurate and thorough. And you help AMA to carry out its mission of promoting responsible mineral development in Alaska. Enjoy the story.
Deantha Crockett Executive Director