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Office of Economic Development Promotes Alaska to Mining Industry

February 23, 2010, Anchorage, Alaska – Alaska’s vast mining potential was on full display recently at the annual Mineral Exploration Roundup in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development’s Office of Economic Development represented the state at the January event, which is the world’s premier technical mineral exploration conference. Roundup offers members of the global mineral exploration community opportunities to learn about the latest discoveries and projects under development, and to mingle with geoscientists, prospectors, engineers, entrepreneurs, and representatives from exploration companies, associations, governments, suppliers, and mineral producers. The conference also offers Alaska an opportunity to sell itself alongside other global players in the mining industry.

“Alaska has a great story to tell the mining industry, and this is one of the best venues to tell that story,” said Curtis Thayer, who oversees the Office of Economic Development as deputy commissioner of the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. “Our work at this event helps us actively market Alaska as a favorable place for industry exploration and investment, which translates into high-paying jobs for Alaskans.”

Alaska’s minerals industry has grown in gross value from $290 million in 1981 to $4 billion in 2007. The state forecasts industry value to grow to nearly $11 billion by 2024, assuming that the major projects now being developed progress to full operation.  This growth will provide at least 15,000 direct jobs to the state and greatly enhance the economy.

“The mining industry has a long history in Alaska, and it has a future here that brings tremendous potential for growth,” said DCCED Commissioner Emil Notti. “We are committed to assisting the Governor in his mission to ensure that resource development will help diversify employment and income sources for Alaskans.”

Sponsored by the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia, the annual Roundup is in its 27th year. There were nearly 6,000 participants at this year’s

Conference, including Rich Hughes, mining development specialist in OED, and Rick Fredericksen, from the Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Mining.

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