Op-ed: Exploration in mineral-rich Montana down 96 percent, despite voter support

Posted on February 08, 2012 by Minerals Make Life

Montana is home to 8,600 mineral deposits, but less than 1 percent of those are in production. In the early 1990s, 140 exploration projects were active in the state. Today, that number has shrunk to six, a decrease of 96 percent.

With 73 percent of likely voters eager to see more mining in Montana, why is the sector taking a massive hit?

In an op-ed to the Billings Gazette, Mark Lambrecht, executive director of Western Environmental Trade Association, discusses a complex permitting process and shifting state regulations that make miners wary of doing business in Montana—and the greater United States.

Lambrecht raises the need for a coherent national minerals policy that better utilizes the country’s $6.2 trillion worth of key minerals, and reduces our reliance on $5.1 billion (now $6.9 billion) worth of mineral imports

Read the full opinion piece here.

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