Mining Prospects Spread Optimism in the Northland
Duluth News Tribune
Opinion: Brian Hanson and Craig Olson
As representatives of the business organization whose goal is business development in Northeastern Minnesota and of the building trades unions best situated to build that development, we are incredibly enthusiastic and optimistic about the future of the Arrowhead. This is in part because of our ability to work together, business and labor, to create a better tomorrow. But today it also is because of the projections of what is next for the Arrowhead and for Minnesota in general, as outlined recently in a University of Minnesota Duluth Labovitz School of Business and Economics study on the incredible opportunities around strategic metal mining in Minnesota.
Recently, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at UMD released a study with astonishing numbers regarding jobs and economic development that will result as strategic metals mines are permitted in Northeastern Minnesota. The exploration and development of proposed strategic metals mines were responsible for contributing more than $210 million to Minnesota’s economy in 2010 and supported more than 500 jobs. It is projected that by 2016 strategic metals mines currently seeking permits could contribute an additional $200 million to Minnesota’s economy and support more than 1,300 direct jobs annually. Construction alone between 2012 and 2016 has the potential to contribute $1.7 billion to the economy and create more than 2,000 jobs per year.