Alaska recognizes the 10th anniversary of Alaska Mining Day

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 4:55 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Mining has always been an important part of Alaskan history, with the 1896 Yukon gold rush causing Alaska’s population to grow by six times.

Ten years ago, Alaska mining day became a state-wide holiday - and on Tuesday, hundreds of Alaskans showed up at the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce weekly luncheon to hear speakers from the mining industry.

Four general managers of mines throughout the state talked about the importance of mining in Alaska. These managers say while also providing jobs, they do what they can to help the community.

Alan Renshaw, general manager with the Usibelli Coal Mine spoke about strict regulations they follow to ensure land is not damaged. He shared a story with the attendees saying, “A couple summers back we had a group of about 30 kids that came up to Alaska just to kind of learn the ropes of what’s good and bad in Alaska. I took them out to an area and I said ‘Look at thse big beautiful trees and look at all this wonderful grass and all this stuff.’ I said ‘This is where we’re going to mine next’ and they all went ‘no!’ and I said ‘Just kidding, we’ve already mined this. This is what regulation looks like.’”

Other special guests and speakers included Senator Lisa Murkowski, Les Yesnik - general manager of Red Dog Mine, Jim Coxon - general manager of the Northern Star Pogo Mine, and Brian Erickson - general manager of the Greens Creek Mine.

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