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Guest Commentary: Coalition for Strategic Metals Mining Forms

Hibbing Daily Tribune

 

As we’ve all seen in the recently concluded election, “jobs” was the primary subject driving conversations, and votes throughout Minnesota.

 

Even as they fought tooth and nail for votes, Democrats and Republicans agree on one thing — we need more Jobs.

 

We have good news: hundreds, even thousands of permanent new jobs can become reality for generations of Minnesotans. That’s why business and labor are founding partners of a unique alliance to work to support and assist major projects that will create jobs.

 

The initial focus will be to champion the development of critical and strategic metals (copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, cobalt and gold) mining in Minnesota — without question the most promising economic opportunity for our state that we’ve seen perhaps in our lifetimes.

 

In Northeastern Minnesota, we will see the primary benefit. But, we need to communicate this message statewide, as the economic possibilities are too great to be confined to one corner of the state. The responsible development of these strategic metals in our state would be as significant for Minnesota’s future as iron mining has been for our past, present and future. This new industry would be productive for more than a century, bringing thousands of permanent careers to the state and providing economic success for Minnesotans for generations, in addition to new investments in technology and education — not to mention billions of dollars in royalties and tax revenue.

 

And, by designing state of the art environmental protection into the projects, we know we will meet and exceed our responsibility to protect Minnesota’s pristine air and water quality.

 

By becoming a global leader in this field, Minnesota will supply the necessary minerals for smart phones, electric car batteries, wind turbines and computer equipment. This industry will become a critical player in promoting Minnesota’s global competitiveness.

 

Beyond the considerable value of strategic metals lies the unique reason our partnership is so important — real jobs for Minnesotans.

 

A 2009 study conducted by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota-Duluth concluded that more than 10,000 construction jobs and 5,000 long-term mining jobs will be created in Minnesota if the strategic metals mining projects currently under study become operational.

 

But that’s not all.

 

The same study found that each mining job creates an additional 1.6 jobs in other industries. Our ability to tap into these resources releases untapped deposits of jobs and opportunities for all Minnesotans across the entire state.

 

The truth is Minnesota needs strategic metals mining. But not everyone agrees.

 

That’s why some well-funded groups from inside (and outside) Minnesota have begun misleading campaigns that would deny us the opportunity to add thousands of jobs for generations, even though they are desperately needed. It’s our responsibility in this community to lead the discussion on the benefits these jobs would create for our entire state, for generations.

 

That’s why we are thrilled to announce the “Jobs for Minnesotans” coalition. Together, job creators, middle class workers, local governments and a growing list of supporters throughout Minnesota will pursue this clear opportunity and bring another element to the strategic metals conversation — the truth.

 

Working together, this unique partnership will educate our neighbors on the facts of economic opportunities that stand to benefit Minnesota with the responsible development of this resource.

 

We invite you to join us to become agents for economic growth.

 

Lory Fedo

President, Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce

 

John Grahek,

President, Iron Range Building and Construction Trades

 

Co-founders, Jobs for Minnesotans

 

Melander, Olson: Metals mining in Minnesota means a hundred years of jobs and revenue

 

Pioneer Press 

Is there any doubt that "jobs" is the primary subject driving conversations throughout our country and our state? Even as they fought tooth and nail for votes, Democrats and Republicans agreed on one thing — we need more jobs.

In today's economy, the creation of even a single new job can be newsworthy. Imagine the response if hundreds, even thousands of permanent new jobs become reality for generations of Minnesotans. That's why business and labor are founding partners of a unique alliance to work to support and assist major projects that will create jobs. The initial focus will be to champion the development of critical and strategic metals (copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, cobalt and gold) mining in Minnesota — without question the most promising economic opportunity for our state that we've seen in many years — perhaps in our lifetimes.

The responsible development of these strategic metals in our state would be as significant for Minnesota as iron mining has been. This new industry would be productive for more than a century, bringing thousands of permanent careers to the state and providing economic success for Minnesotans for generations, in addition to new investments in technology and education — not to mention billions of dollars in royalties and tax revenue. And, 21st century technology enables us to meet and exceed our responsibility to protect Minnesota's pristine air and water quality.

Today, companies are developing plans to safely extract

these strategic minerals from the world's largest known, untapped source. Northeastern

Minnesota is home to the "Duluth Complex," which is a large mineral deposit with more

than 4 billion tons already identified. This resource presents our state with a clear

opportunity to be a global leader in strategic metals mining.

By becoming a global leader in this field, Minnesota will supply the necessary minerals for smart phones, electric car batteries, wind turbines and computer equipment. This industry will become a critical player in promoting Minnesota's global competitiveness.

Beyond the considerable value of strategic metals lies the primary reason our partnership is so important — real jobs for Minnesotans. A 2009 study conducted by the Labovitz School of Business and Economics at the University of Minnesota-Duluth concluded that more than 10,000 construction jobs and 5,000 long-term mining jobs will be created in Minnesota if the strategic metals mining projects currently under study become operational. But that's not all. The same study found that each mining job creates an additional 1.6 jobs in other industries. Our ability to tap into these resources releases untapped deposits of jobs and opportunities for all Minnesotans across the entire state.

Measurable, meaningful job creation in communities hit hard by economic stress is vitally important to ALL of our futures. It is imperative that we spark economic growth. This industry will usher in a new economic reality for generations, creating high-paying jobs, spurring investment, generating money for our schools, fostering spinoff economic opportunities and building annual tax revenues in the tens of millions of dollars. We can safely develop 100 years of strategic metals mining in our great state.

The truth is Minnesota needs strategic metals mining. But not everyone agrees. That's why some well-funded groups from inside (and outside) Minnesota have begun misleading campaigns that would deny us the opportunity to add thousands of jobs for generations, even though they are desperately needed.

This week we were thrilled to announce the Jobs for Minnesotans coalition. Together, job creators, middle class workers, local governments and a growing list of supporters throughout Minnesota will pursue this clear opportunity and bring another element to the strategic metals conversation — the truth. Working together, this partnership will educate our neighbors on the facts of economic opportunities that stand to benefit Minnesota with the responsible development of this resource.

Harry Melander is president of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council. David Olson is president of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. They're co-founders of the Jobs for Minnesotans coalition.