Since civilization began people have used mining techniques to access minerals in the earth. Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, and Ancient Greece all engaged in mining. Historically, mining has been a cornerstone of Alaska’s economy and is a growing economic force today, providing jobs for thousands of Alaskans and millions of dollars of personal income. Many roads, docks and infrastructure throughout Alaska were originally constructed to serve the mining industry. Major communities like Fairbanks, Juneau, and Nome were founded on mining activity.
Alaska’s modern mining industry includes exploration, mine development, and mineral production… Safely producing coal, gold, lead, silver, zinc, as well as construction materials, such as sand, gravel, and rock, and many others.
Minimal Environmental Footprint
Alaska’s continues to be a global leader in utilizing environmentally friendly, and safe mining practices. Including, the development of accurate methods for locating and uncovering substances found in the earth.
Positive Economic Impact
Mining plays a major role in Alaska’s economy, providing jobs for thousands of Alaskans and millions of dollars of personal income throughout Alaska.
People involved in mining live in more than 90 communities throughout Alaska. Our communities benefit from having high-wage mine employees among their residents. Communities also receive direct financial benefits from local property taxes (or payment in lieu of taxes) levied on mine facilities and equipment, which helps support schools and local government services.
Last year, Alaska’s mining industry provided:
• 4,600 direct mining jobs in Alaska.
• 9,400 total direct and indirect jobs attributed to Alaska mining industry.
• $740 million in total direct and indirect payroll.
• Some of Alaska’s highest paying jobs with an estimated average annual wage of $112,800, over twice the state average ($55,140) for all sectors of the economy.
• $37 million in local government revenue.
• $112 million in state government revenue through mining licenses, rents, royalties, fees, and taxes, and other government-related payments.
• $242 million in payments to Alaska Native corporations.
• Mostly year-round jobs for residents of more than 70 communities throughout Alaska, half of which are found in rural Alaska where few other jobs are available.
Promoting Green Technology
Without the mining industry green technology as we know it would not be possible. We cannot meet our growing need for green technologies without the mines that produce rare earth metals, copper, silver, and more. Mining not only makes it possible for you to surf the web on your smartphone, but it more importantly gives us the opportunity to change the way we produce and consume energy — without mines, there can be no green technology.
Safe COVID-19 Workplace
As a critical industry, Alaska’s mines and projects implemented strict COVID-19 protocols to protect their workers and contractors, and keep community members safe. As a result, mining was one of the bright spots in Alaska’s economy in 2020. There were no significant production disruptions or worker layoffs; millions of dollars in payroll continued to be infused throughout many Alaska communities. Additionally, through pre-shift quarantine facilities, mining companies injected critical dollars into local economies in Juneau, Fairbanks, and Anchorage.
Today, a rejuvenated mining industry brings a broad range of benefits to Alaska, offering some of the highest paying jobs in both urban and rural Alaska, as well as generating significant local government tax payments and royalties to Alaska Native corporations for activity on their land.
CMI is proud to be a supporter of this great Alaskan industry.