The University of Minnesota Duluth Bureau of Business and Economic Research released a study in April on the economic impact of ferrous mining in Northeastern Minnesota. The release is timely given potential mining developments in the Iron Range, including PolyMet.
Commissioned by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Minnesota Power, UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute, Iron Range Resources, the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota and Mining Minnesota Researchers, the report found that 34% of gross regional product is connected to mining.
Economist James Skurla, director of UMD’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, presented the report at the annual Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) conference in Duluth in April. Beth Biley’s May 5 article on BusinessNorth.com provides a good overview of the report and its significance, noting that “About 10,000 jobs are directly or indirectly tied to the mining industry. Just over one-third of those jobs are directly tied to mining.”
According to the report, ferrous and non-ferrous mining combined contribute “$1.8 billion in wages, rents and profits to Minnesota’s economy.” If current mining developments materialize, that impact could triple by 2013. You can download a full copy of the report HERE.