Happy Alaska Mining Day!

Happy Alaska Mining Day!

May 8, 2020

As the world begins to recuperate from its COVID-19-caused two-month economic slumber, here in Alaska, Sunday the 10th – aside from being Mother’s Day – is also our 8th annual Alaska Mining Day.

Alaska has always been a mining state – heck, the first non-Native settlers came because gold was discovered here.  From the first noted finds by Russia in the 1830s to the “Juneau Gold Rush” of 1876, the “Kenai Peninsula” Rush of 1888 and the famous “Klondike Gold Rush” that began in 1896, many of Alaska’s communities have been built around mining. Mining is a crucial economic driver for our state, and the jobs from mining are economic cornerstones for many communities. 

Today, there are six major active mines in the state, with 4,600 direct and 9,400 direct and indirect jobs attributed to their production and support.  They are Greens Creek near Juneau (silver), Kensington near Juneau (gold), Fort Knox near Fairbanks (gold), Northern Star Pogo near Delta Junction (gold), Usibelli near Healy (coal) and Red Dog near Kotzebue.  In addition, there are hundreds of placer mines across the state, providing for primary and supplemental incomes for families, as well as support for local businesses in and around the claims.

Alaska’s mining future could see an amazing level of expansion – both in the number of active mines and jobs – if the mines currently in advanced exploration and/or permitting open.  Both Pebble (copper, gold) and Donlin (gold) are in permitting phase, and Graphite One (graphite), Palmer (copper, zinc, gold, silver), Livengood (gold) and the Upper Kobuk (copper, zinc, gold, cobalt, other rare earths) prospects are in advanced exploration.  Between them, thousands of jobs with excellent salaries could be realized, if only the environmental left would grasp their importance, and stop obstructing the permitting process with lawsuits that go against Alaska’s best interests.

As the celebration of those men and women in mining continues on Sunday, Power The Future wants to add our voice to say “Thank you.”

Cheers!  Hip, hip, hooray!  Congratulations on your success, the success to come, and for all you do for the Alaska economy!