104 Alaska Business Monthly | May 2015 www.akbizmag.com
As Alaska’s fiscal horizon appears ominously inclement because of waningoilpricesonaglobalscale,
policymakers, entrepreneurs, and communities across the state are welcoming
proverbial clear skies and sunshine when
it comes to mining development.
The spectrum of resources Alaska’s
economy is dependent on includes oil,
gas, fisheries, timber, tourism, and a
sprinkling of other developmental opportunities. Mining, however, may just
be the most robust and expansive of
the collective. The success of mining in
2015 and beyond will equate to continued employment and investment in the
state, with development at center stage.
Advanced Exploration vs.
The Alaska Miners Association is one of
several trade associations and advocacy
nonprofit organizations in the state
representing mineral interests.
The Alaska Miners Association released The Economic Benefits of Alaska’s
Mining Industry report in 2014 delineating the mining exploration timeline
and overviewing participants. The McDowell Group prepares mining industry
economic impact reports for the association annually. The genesis and process of mining is fairly straightforward:
mineral potential is determined, initial
prospecting occurs, a claim is staked,
drilling begins, advanced exploration
with economic feasibility and economic
studies to accompany permitting fol-
By Tom Anderson
Tunnel at Hecla Greens Creek
Mine in Southeast Alaska.
Photo courtesy of Hecla