Alaska gov welcomes mining investments
Invites global miners to investigate state's mineral riches
Last updated 1/24/2020 at 5:59am
If you are not doing business in Alaska, you should be, this is the message Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy had for the mining community attending the Association for Mineral Exploration Roundup in Vancouver, British Columbia.
During a Jan. 22 Alaska Night reception at the Roundup, Dunleavy said Alaska provides the environmental protections and jurisdictional securities that come with being a part of the United States, yet a rich and undeveloped mineral endowment of a frontier jurisdiction.
"There are herds of mining elephants, large finds, just waiting for you to come up and invest in, explore and develop in the great state of Alaska," he said during this long running Roundup social gathering put on each year by the Alaska Miners Association.
His presentation at Alaska Night capped off a two-day trip to Vancouver.
During his time at the Roundup, Dunleavy met with mining companies and investors exploring and operating worldwide, sharing his vision of growth for the future of Alaska's mining industry.
"I've met a lot of fantastic folks who are trying to create wealth – provide America and Canada with the minerals and metals that we need to have the society that we have today," he said.
The governor would like to see a good portion of that money invested in Alaska.
"We want the jobs you guys create; we want the wealth that you help create; the governments want revenue that you help create; businesses that support the mining industry want you there," the governor told the crowd.
Dunleavy lived on the Seward Peninsula, home to the legendary Nome Gold Rush, for six years before marrying Rose Newlin and moving to Kotzebue where they raised three daughters, all of which work at the world-class Red Dog zinc mine.
Raised in Pennsylvania coal country, before moving to the gold-rich beaches of western Alaska in 1982, Dunleavy has a longtime appreciation of the benefits of mining, an appreciation that was strengthened by witnessing the benefits the world-class Red Dog zinc mine brought to Northwest Alaska.
"When I lived up in Kotzebue, prior to the Red Dog Mine there really was no private economy of any large scale. That mine came in the 1980s and really transformed that place for the better," he said.
Dunleavy would like to see other remote regions of Alaska benefit from the high paying jobs and business opportunities that mines offer.
"What you now have is an open invitation to set up shop in the state of Alaska," he informed mining and mineral exploration companies interested in the state's potential.
In addition to mineral endowment that is considered amongst the best in the world, the governor said Alaska is amongst the best places to mine the minerals the world needs for an increasingly environmentally conscientious society.
"We are known as an oil giant and we are having an oil renaissance on the North Slope, but mining has always been incredibly important to the state of Alaska," the governor said. "As we move toward a potentially different economy, based more on electricity, we are going to need those metals, those rare earths, those elements for the batteries, technologies and electronics."
Alaska has most of those metals in abundance and the governor said you can't find a much better place to source them.
"The reason why we want you to invest in Alaska is because we believe we protect our environment better than any other place on the planet," Dunleavy said. "And if we do it in Alaska, we feel we protect the entire planet, because there are some places that may not have the environmental protections that America and Canada has."
Strong environmental protections are accompanied by robust and sometimes complicated regulations.
To answer questions about mineral tenure and environmental laws in Alaska, commissioners Doug Vincent-Lang, Department of Fish and Game; Corri Feige, Department of Natural Resources; and Jason Brune, Department of Environmental Conservation joined Dunleavy during his two days at the Roundup.
The primary objective of the trip to Vancouver was to make sure the 6,190 participants of the 2020 AME Roundup hears Dunleavy's first message as governor – Alaska is open for business!