North of 60 Mining News - The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

Pebble Partnership copper gold molybdenum mine project Alaska Northern Dynasty NAK NDM

By Rose Ragsdale
For Mining News 

Minerals top growth among state exports

High mineral prices, stronger output boost value of sector's shipments of base, precious metals to Canada, Asia and Europe

 

Last updated 3/30/2008 at Noon



Alaska's miners have powered their way to No. 2 among the state's top exporting sectors in the past two years. Overall, the value of Alaska's exports fell 3.8 percent in 2007 to $3.9 billion from $4.1 billion in 2006. Last year's results reflect record-setting totals for mining exports and the second best year ever, overall.

"This is great news for Alaska, and I commend all of the Alaskans whose hard work benefits our state and its trade and foreign investment," said Gov. Sarah Palin in announcing U.S. Census totals for Alaska exports March 20.

High world market prices and strong sales were primarily responsible for boosting the value of Alaska's mining products to a record $1.3 billion in 2007. The performance was more than double the state's total mineral exports of $595 million in 2005 and compared favorably with the previous record of $1.2 billion in 2006.

Minerals accounted for 30 percent of the total value of Alaska exports, second only to the seafood industry's 51 percent share. The value of seafood exports, however, actually lost ground in 2007, slipping from $2.02 billion in 2006 to $1.98 billion last year. In 2005, the value of Alaska seafood exports totaled $1.97 billion.

Zinc and lead ore exports led the mineral sector's growth, climbing 8.5 percent to a record $1.2 billion in 2007. Alaska's Office of International Trade attributes the growth primarily to high zinc prices. Alaska accounts for more than three-fourths of all U.S. zinc production.  Red Dog Mine, in northwest Alaska, is the world's largest zinc mine. 

Canada was Alaska's largest ore market in 2007 followed by Korea, China, Japan, Spain, Finland, Belgium, Germany, and Italy.

Switzerland, however, dominated the state's markets for precious metals with Canada a distant second and other markets lagging behind. The higher price of gold in 2007 and an increase in export volume resulted in a 22 percent increase to $132 million for Alaska's exports of precious metals. By comparison, Alaska exported $108 million worth of precious metals in 2006 and $81 million worth in 2005.

The value of Alaska's coal exports in 2007 approached $5 million, and the coal was exported to Chile.  This is the third year for coal exports to Chile, according to Trade officials.

The Trade office blamed the decrease in the overall value of Alaska exports in 2007 on a decline in value of Cook Inlet natural gas supply exports and value-added exports of liquefied natural gas and fertilizer. 

Palin said exports and foreign direct investment have been important to Alaska for more than six decades. Companies based in Japan, Canada and Europe have invested significantly in the state's natural resources. 

"We are competing in domestic and international markets, and let's remember we prepare best for that competition through a strong educational system and workforce development" she added.

Both exports and foreign direct investment have been important to Alaska for more than six decades.  Companies based in Japan, Canada and Europe have invested significantly in the state's natural resources. 

U.S. Census Bureau export totals for Alaska do not reflect the state's natural resource products that are first transported to and warehoused in other states before export.

 

Reader Comments
(0)

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2018