April 02, 2015
Metal Miner, a trade resource for global metals markets, says the...
This week, Rebecca Logan, general manager of the Alaska Support Industry Alliance, wrote in Alaska Dispatch News that for the good of Alaska, as well as the nation, Congress must pass Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) “American Mineral Security Act of 2015.” Logan explains that the bill would reduce inefficiencies in the process of permitting new mines and help to secure the minerals necessary to support the American economy. Logan explains:
“Sen. Murkowski’s American Mineral Security Act of 2015 would go a long way to easing these delays and roadblocks. The Senate Energy Committee is due to vote on the bill later this summer, and if passed by the full Senate, the bill would require geological surveying of critical mineral resources, reduce federal permitting delays and ultimately help Alaskans develop the state’s world-class mineral resources.”
For decades, the United States’ duplicative and inefficient mine permitting process has kept Alaska’s vast mineral resources locked underground. In fact, Alaska’s Kensington gold mine has suffered from a nearly two-decade-long delay because of the current permitting process. Alaska houses a vast mineral reserve, and according the U.S. Geological Study, “if Alaska were a country, it would be ranked in the top 10 for copper, lead, gold, zinc and silver.” These mineral commodities are essential to our nation’s economic growth, more specifically its defense, energy, medical and manufacturing industries. Yet they remain untapped, stifling the nation’s economic growth.
Logan notes that if Sen. Murkowski’s legislation is passed, the bill would reduce permitting delays and ultimately help Alaska gain access to its expansive mineral wealth, which will only increase the nation’s job growth and boost our global competitiveness in manufacturing.
“The regional impact of mining in Alaska is critical,” says Logan. “Oftentimes a mine is the largest property-tax payer in an area, and the jobs provided are some of the highest-paying jobs in the state, averaging more than $100,000 a year. It is crucial that Congress pass Sen. Murkowski’s bill now to ensure economic opportunity and jobs in Alaska and the nation as a whole…”
Minerals and metals mining is imperative to our nation’s economic recovery, national security and technological innovation. By supporting Sen. Murkowski’s legislation, Alaska and the U.S. will be able to benefit from a more secure and reliable mineral supply chain and a stronger economy.