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May 10, 2011 Declared Alaska Mining Day

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA - On Monday, May 2, 2011, Alaska Lieutenant Governor Mead Treadwell presented to Alaska Miners Association Executive Director, Steve Borell, a Proclamation by Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, declaring May 10, 2011 "Mining Day."

This fitting tribute by Governor Parnell is in recognition of the role that mining has played in the history of the State going back to the earliest Territorial days and the Russian occupation that preceded it.

Mining, the second largest industry in the State has had a long and colorful past, a critical present and a very bright future here. From the earliest finds by Russian explorers, to the gold rushes at Juneau, Fairbanks and Nome, to the giant copper mine at Kennicott and the AJ and Treadwell Mines in Southeast, to the on-going exploration activities of today, mining has expanded into every corner of Alaska.

The great mines at Greens Creek, Red Dog, Fort Knox, Pogo, and Kensington have ignited excitement by producing good local jobs and contributing consistently to the surrounding communities. The Usibelli Coal Mine in Healy has produced the power that has kept Fairbanks and Interior Alaska warm and well lit for six decades. The hundreds of placer miners from Chicken to Taylor and everywhere in between have provided a livelihood for individuals and families continuously for over a century.

The future of mining in Alaska, on prospects that are well defined and those that are yet to be discovered, is without limit.

The vast majority of roads and trails in Alaska were first developed by miners. The products from Alaska's mines now feed the world's demand for minerals such as zinc, lead, copper, silver and gold.

The root of mining in Alaska was the adoption of the General Mining Law on May 10, 1872. It was that law that provided miners with the incentive to claim what they could find and sell what they could produce. It was a great testimonial to the American spirit and a significant contributor to all Alaskans past, present and future. It is fitting that on the 139th anniversary of the General Mining Law that we commemorate its contribution to our State by this Proclamation.

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