Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mining Day at the Capitol puts Arizona heritage and jobs on display

I had the great pleasure of attending the Arizona Mining Association's "Mining Day at the Capitol" this week. The power and size of the heavy machinery on display was awe inspiring.

Similar to the machinery that runs it, the Arizona mining industry is a powerful giant in the state's economy. Led by President Kelly Norton, the Arizona Mining Association is the state's leading voice for the industry. Arizona is the largest copper-producer in the U.S. and would be considered the sixth highest producing nation if it were a country. Responsible for almost 70 percent of all copper production in America, Arizona understand the importance of this "C."

This industry is responsible for an estimated $4.6 billion fiscal impact on the state's economy, or half of the state's proposed budget. In addition to producing and exporting large amounts of copper, the mining industry is also responsible for providing almost 50,000 jobs, and on average the jobs pay over $100,000 a year, which is double the state's average salary rate.

Whether I am driving in my Prius (64 lbs of copper) or using my cell phone (16 grams), copper is very much a part of our daily lives.  Unlike many other mined metals, copper is an essential that will always be needed and we are lucky to have such an abundant source in our state. Kudos to those of you at the Arizona Mining Association for all of your hard work. You have ensured that Arizona will remain a major player in this industry for years to come.

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