Letters From the West

Miners make presentation to Senate panel

The Idaho Senate Resources and Environment Committee is getting a full presentation on mining in Idaho starting with the dean of Idaho mining lobbyists, Jack Lyman, executive director of the Idaho Mining Association.

He presented the updated economic study of University of Idaho economist Steven Peterson. Among its findings:

·        From 2007 through 2011 Idaho produced $5.3 billion in mineral value.

·        In 2011 the mines associated with Jack’s group, employed 3,107 people and paid $267 million in wages, broken down that’s an average of $85,900 per job, which includes benefits.

·        In 2011 mining companies paid, $102 million in taxes; $25.4 million was in property taxes, $37.5 million in sales taxes, $13.2 million in excise/royalty and license fees and $25.8 million in personal and corporate income taxes.

·        Every direct mining job added $330,000 to the gross state product, created an extra 1.83 jobs and resulted in $32,800 in tax payments – at that rate, 500 jobs could add $165 million in gross state product, create an additional 915 jobs and result in $16.5 million in tax payments.

Representatives of several mining exploration companies and companies in the development stage testified. Erika Stoner, chief mine engineer of Agrium, a phosphate mining company also testified. Her public relations director is Sen. John Tippets, who noted when she testified that she is his boss.



Rocky Barker is the energy and environment reporter for the Idaho Statesman and has been writing about the West since 1985. He is the author of Scorched Earth How the Fires of Yellowstone Changed America and co-producer of the movie Firestorm: Last Stand at Yellowstone, which was inspired by the book and broadcast on A&E Network. He also co-authored the Flyfisher's Guide to Idaho and the Wingshooter's Guide to Idaho with Ken Retallic. He also was on the Statesman’s team that covered the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news in 2007. The National Wildlife Federation awarded him its Conservation Achievement Award.

Posted in Letters from the West