Alaska Mayor Says Communities are “Fortunate” To Have Mining

Posted on July 17, 2015 by Minerals Make Life

Earlier this week, Mayor Merrill Sanford of Juneau, Alaska, commended the mining industry for its commitment to upholding safe and responsible operations, while remaining a “stalwart of the Juneau economy.” As permitting for Hecla Mining’s Rock Creek Mine is underway in Northwestern Montana, Mayor Sanford expressed her excitement for Montana and emphasized the company’s contributions to Alaskan communities in an open letter:

“As mayor of Juneau, Alaska I extend my congratulations to the communities of Troy, Libby, Noxon, Thompson Falls and the surrounding area. You are fortunate to have Hecla Mining coming to your region… Hecla’s long standing involvement in the community has been perhaps the company’s greater quality. The men and women working at Hecla are active participants in the Juneau business community, civic associations, education and elected governmental roles. They are integral to the community and their passion and professionalism makes Juneau an even better place to call home. We are very fortunate to have them in our community and know you too will find them to become a key part of your community once the Rock Creek project is successfully permitted.”

Hecla Mining, a member company of the National Mining Association (NMA), has been an essential part of the community of Juneau for more than 20 years and has brought “more than 800 direct and indirect jobs for the Southeast Alaska economy and more than three-quarters of a billion dollars in economic impact in just the last five years alone,” Sanford says.

This is just one of many examples of the tremendous economic opportunities and contributions that U.S. minerals mining offers across the country. Nationwide, our industry supports more than 1.2 million U.S. jobs and is projected to add between 11,000 and 13,000 jobs per year over the next 20 years. It doesn’t stop there; these mining jobs lead to growth in many other downstream industries, such as the manufacturing, defense, energy, medical and automotive sectors—all of which depend on a reliable supply of mineral resources to produce the technologies we use every day.

Moreover, the minerals mining industry is committed to upholding the principles of being a good neighbor. As good neighbors, mining companies have an inherent responsibility for the health and safety of their employees, the well-being of communities in which they operate and the environment in which we live. For example, Hecla’s Greens Creek Mine near Juneau “was carefully designed, constructed and is being operated to coexist with the highest population density of brown bears in North America. In addition, the mine operates in harmony with all five species of Pacific salmon, along with rich summer feeding grounds for whales offshore,” Mayor Sanford explains.

Juneau is a prime example of how U.S. minerals mining benefits communities across the United States. As development of Hecla’s Rock Creek Mine continues, the communities of northwest Montana will soon experience similar job growth and increased economic opportunities.

To read Mayor Sanford’s letter in full, click here.

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