"Demand for materials is rising exponentially with emerging technology and clean energy solutions. There is tremendous pressure on supply. Where these materials are mined and refined is going to matter from a strategic, safety, environmental and economic standpoint."  

Steve Trussell


September 08, 2023

What is the role of AMA in supporting Arizona’s mining industry?

We are interested in maintaining the viability of the industry in three ways: community relations, regulatory work, and public policy. We want to keep Arizona the number one producer of non-fuel minerals in the nation and in the top 10 jurisdictions in the world for attracting investment in mining.

What makes Arizona an advantageous jurisdiction to explore and develop a mine?

Arizona has a favorable economic, political, and regulatory climate. People know we are the “copper state” and generally understand mining’s importance. Arizona ranks first in mineral potential in the U.S. and has a policy perception ranking that is also favorable to mining. On the other hand, our state agencies are good to work with and do pre-permitting work to efficiently issue key authorizations.

What is Arizona’s mining economic impact and contribution?

Arizona mining production was over US$10 billion and ranked first in the nation in 2021 and 2022. The hard rock mining sector is a US$14.2 billion industry and, combined with the aggregate industry, is a combined US$20 billion impact on the state’s economy. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics the mining industry output per worker is US$545,100, which ranks third behind the aerospace and semi-conductor industry. Mining employs approximately 27,000 directly and supports another almost 75,000 jobs indirectly. The contributions to state tax revenue are also quite substantial.

What are the biggest challenges that miners in Arizona face today?

University mining program enrollment has been down. College and high school students do not see mining as a career option not because they would not consider mining, they simply do not know enough about it. Education will go a long way towards attracting employees. Industry and academia need to quickly adapt to attract the next generation of talent.

The good news for Arizona is the University of Arizona had a mining program that has been elevated to a new mining school with an incredibly competent, capable, and dynamic director, Misael Cabrera. They are also engaged with the K-12 system through demonstrations, workshops, and engagement to recruit and attract future talent. A year ago, the Arizona Mining Association also hired Stephanie Jensen, our Director of Education. Stephanie has done an excellent job analyzing this challenge and will be focused on rebranding the industry for young people.

What are some important catalysts on the horizon for Arizona’s mining industry?

Demand for materials is rising exponentially with emerging technology and clean energy solutions. There is tremendous pressure on supply. Where these materials are mined and refined is going to matter from a strategic, safety, environmental and economic standpoint. Reaching new audiences and communicating why minerals are vital to our future, how we obtain them responsibly, and how everyone can be a part of the solution is more important than ever.

What are some policy developments encouraging a cohesive North American mineral supply chain?

There have been significant congressional efforts to improve or alleviate supply chain issues. Members of our Arizona delegation clearly understand the issue, but there are too many variables and factors politically and otherwise of note that make that effort exceedingly difficult.

What are your main goals for your presidency?

Looking at global competitiveness for reserves, it is important that the U.S. and Arizona mine and refine minerals domestically. Even though we are a high-ranking jurisdiction in terms of friendliness to investment and mining, it still takes 10 or 12 years to permit new mining operations. We are looking at opportunities, where appropriate, to get mines online expeditiously to meet increasing demand. This will include permitting reform, bringing older mining sites back into production and looking at mining waste, which can hold significant opportunity.

Arizona Mining Association’s goal is to keep the Arizona and the U.S. competitive. Arizona should continue to lead the nation as the number one producer of nonfuel minerals and we want to be able to continue to provide the quality of life that people enjoy with their phones, computers, electric vehicles, and technological innovations yet to come, but do it in a very responsible way in terms of environmental health and safety. We will do this in part through our relationships with K-12 schools, vocational education, and higher education, improving our messaging and attracting the highly qualified workforce of tomorrow.


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MINPER 2023 - Perumin Official Investment Guide (Spanish Print Version)

GBR's MINPER: 2023 - PERUMIN Official Investment Guide, produced in strategic alliance with the Peruvian Institute of Mining Engineers, delves into the themes impacting the Peruvian mining industry. The report is produced after 130 interviews with leading authorities from government, industry associations, major producers, juniors, consultants, and technology and service providers.



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