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Alaska Gold Mining Jobs

Join Kinross to launch your career in a dynamic gold mining company that prides itself on operational excellence. Learn from some of the best mining professionals in the industry in a company that values training and professional development, and puts its employees first. We offer exciting global opportunities for skilled, ambitious and committed students and new grads.

alaska gold mining jobs

The mining industry plays an important role in the economy of more than seventy communities throughout the state. Whether the mines produce zinc, lead, coal, gravel, silver, or gold, the direct and indirect financial impacts on the surrounding area are significant, according to a McDowell Group report commissioned by the Alaska Mining Association.

Teel says that 62 percent of metal mining jobs were filled by Alaskans. However, for specialized support jobs such as drilling and boring of machine tool headers, only 39 percent of employees are residents.

Even so, long before a mine ever comes online, it provides thousands of Alaskans with some of the highest paying jobs in the state, making mining companies significant contributors to the economic health of the state and the communities in which they operate.

Mining is a fundamental part of our everyday lives. The precious metals we produce, gold and silver, have countless innovative uses that shape the way we live today. These precious metals help address the challenges society faces, particularly those related to the environment, green energy and the US economy and supply chain. We are seeking individuals to help us transform the future of mining and want to impact the world with a career that matters. Interested in making an impact? Join our team!

Wyatt eventually departed Nome, selling his shares of the Dexter back to Charlie Hoxsie. He also transferred the mining land claims to the brother of his common-law wife, Josephine. Earp sailed away from Alaska with $80,000 (more than $2 million after inflation). He and Josephine invested in the money among family, gold mines and other ventures before they ultimately settled in Los Angeles.

In the U.S., gold mining is key to our manufacturing sector and technological advancement. In fact, small amounts of gold are found in almost every sophisticated electronic device from phones and calculators to GPS devices and electronic medical equipment, including life-supporting devices and wires for pacemakers and heart stents.

Today, a rejuvenated mining industry brings a broad range of benefits to Alaska, offering some of the highest paying jobs in both urban and rural Alaska, as well as generating significant local government tax payments and royalties to Alaska Native corporations for activity on their land.

In addition to jobs, mining creates public revenue by paying state and local taxes. Mines help support local economies with mining companies serving as the largest taxpayers in the City and Borough of Juneau, the Fairbanks North Star Borough, and the Northwest Arctic Borough, and important taxpayers in rural communities like Denali Borough and the City of Nome.

Located outside of Haines, the Palmer Project hosts two copper-zinc-silver-gold-barite deposits and more than 25 additional prospects on 82,000 acres of State, Federal, and Alaska Mental Health Authority lands. A Preliminary Economic Assessment was completed on the deposits in 2019, outlining the potential for an underground mine design with an an 11-year mine life and 260 jobs. Constantine Metal Resources Ltd. and their joint-venture partner Dowa Metals & Mining Company, Ltd. of Japan have invested more than $50 million into the exploration project.

Learn what it was like to live and work in one of Alaska's largest gold mining camps. Begin your tour of the Independence Mine State Historical Park at the Mine Mangers's House, which houses the Visitor Center and museum. Inside you'll see displays about mining, natural history and the Independence Mine story. Take a self-guided interpretive tour through the mine camp.

Total payroll for all mineral resource mining saw a payroll of $675 million in 2016. The industry produces zinc, lead, copper, gold, silver, coal, as well as construction materials, including rock, sand and gravel.

Yet another statistic collected by the Alaska Department of Labor looks at a narrow window into those employed mining hard rock and other minerals. Economist Fried notes those numbers have been stable. In 2015, the state counted 2,983 jobs. In 2016, the number was 2,943.

Centerra Gold updated the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George board about the Kemess Underground project on Feb. 20. The Canadian mining company acquired the Kemess mines in the Omenica mountains from AuRico Metals in 2018, and currently operates the Mount Milligan copper/gold mine west of Mackenzie and owns the shuttered Endako molybdenum mine west of Fraser Lake.

The Pogo gold deposit consists of numerous massive auriferous quartz +/- sulphide veins hosted in a sequence of amphibolite-grade, paragneiss and orthogneiss of Proterozoic to mid-Paleozoic age. Mid-Cretaceous age granitic plutons and dikes intrude the gneisses, which in turn, are cut by the veins. The Proterozoic gneiss and Cretaceous granitoid sequence are part of the Yukon-Tanana terrain, a gold belt extending from Fairbanks into the historic gold mining areas of the Yukon Territory.

Section 2: Malcolm, Edward\ David, Harry\ Coal Creek\ Juneby, Willie\ Paul, Susie\ Harris, Willie\ Taylor Highway\ gold mining - dredging\ gold mining - thawing\ mining equipment \ wood cutting\ mining camp - fuel \ mining camp - family life\ gold mining - freeze-up\ Snare Creek\ Paul, Louise\ mining camp - winter\ mining camp - wood requirements\ Coal Creek - air strip

Section 3: Coal Creek - supplies\ sternwheelers - Coal Creek\ Coal Creek - roads\ Patty, Ernest\ "dredge master"\ gold mining - jobs\ gold mining - thawing\ mining camp - meals\ mining camp - bunkhouses\ mining camp - fuel oil

A miner in North Idaho's Silver Valley now can earn up to $175,000 a year, including benefits, says Hecla Mining Co. President and CEO Phil Baker, providing a glimpse into a workforce trend affected by international competition and a domestic shortage of skilled workers. While that's on the high end of the pay spectrum, Coeur d'Alene-based Hecla's average yearly pay for its mining employees is currently at about $90,000, including benefits, Baker says, a significant jump since the mining slump of the mid-2000s."That's about double what it was about eight years ago," Baker says, citing competitive pressures at least in part for the higher wage pattern. Another factor, however, is Hecla's improved company margins that are benefitting from record metal prices and demand this past year. "Frankly, there is an opportunity to pay our workforce more and still have robust margins," he says.He says that while a shortage of U.S. skilled miners is expected to worsen, Hecla continues to retain and draw employees who want to work at its two established mines—the Lucky Friday silver mine in North Idaho and the Greens Creek lead-zinc-silver-gold mine in Alaska. Combined, those mines currently employ about 700 people. However, Baker adds, "If you don't increase salaries for existing employees, then they go somewhere else," including worldwide, if people are willing to move to jobs in other counties. A Nov. 17 Wall Street Journal story said workers are making $200,000 a year in Western Australia, running drills in underground mines to extract gold and other minerals. Mine companies in countries such as Australia and Canada are experiencing mining booms and are wooing recent graduates of U.S. mining schools.Overall in the U.S., industry observers are describing both a current and impending shortage of skilled mine workers. That's due to several factors, they say, including a decline in the number of people who entered the field during a long industry slump, the current high number of retirement-age employees, and a rising number of mine workers accepting lucrative offers to relocate to other countries.Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp.'s Luke Russell, vice president of environment, health, and safety, describes another pressure impacting the mining workforce—a lost decade in significant educational funneling of workers."Ten years ago, the mining industry in the U.S. was perceived to be in a perpetual decline, and many university schools of mining closed, so there was downturn also in education," he says. "With the cyclical nature of mining, the industry has come back very strong, and we do have a big shortage of skilled mining workers in the U.S."The industry needs across-the-board workers, from skilled laborers such as mechanics to college-graduate mining engineers, he says. Of professionals with three to five years of experience and options globally, he says, "They're almost writing their own ticket.""Internationally, companies are looking at mining as a growth industry," Russell says. "That's not happening as fast in the U.S. because of the political environment; it takes longer to permit a mine, and there are delays in opening new mines in the U.S. Internationally, that's where the jobs are going, and their economies are being built on the back of mining, so there's a draw. We're seeing folks leaving the U.S. for those jobs."He adds, "We're sort of missing a generation of skilled workers in the U.S., and the ones who do have the skills are being attracted internationally by very high wages. There's certainly a shortage as well at Coeur mines. Internationally, they're paying very well, and students coming out of mining schools are being given signing bonuses because of the demand and low supply."In response, he says Coeur for the first time hired a full-time recruiter at its corporate office in the past year to support workforce needs at all the company's mines, which include a silver mine in Bolivia, a silver-gold mine in Mexico, and the Kensington gold mine in Alaska. Additionally, the company has silver-gold mines in Nevada and Argentina. The company employs almost 1,900 worldwide, the majority working at mining operations.Coeur's annual pay for an experienced miner is around $65,000 at a base, which often doubles with performance incentives and overtime pay, Russell says. When benefits are factored in, he says higher levels earned reach $165,000 to $175,000.Michael Nelson, chairman of the University of Utah mining engineering department, says the U.S. currently has about a dozen mining schools, and that even during the recession, graduates saw consistent demand. "It has really accelerated the past two to three years," he says.He says at Utah, most students graduating in May already have at least three job offers, ranging from $70,000 to $85,000 for starting salaries. He adds that one offer included a $20,000 signing bonus, while others had offers of assistance in buying a house, $5,000 down toward a house and payment of closing costs. "Those are the incentives that are being offered; it indicates the shortage that's being seen for mining engineers," he says.He adds, "Those are all in the U.S. There is a shortage of mining engineers in Canada, the U.S., and Australia. The shortage is more severe in Australia right now because their industry is growing so quickly. We've seen offers for new graduates to go to Australia starting at $90,000 and year, and engineers with two to five years' experience are being offered salaries of around $200,000 a year."Baker uses a barbell analogy to describe the U.S. workforce in metals and mineral production."There was effectively a depression for metals from the mid-1980s to the mid-2000 timeframe," he says, adding that now, "You have a lot of people who are nearing retirement age, and you have a lot who are fairly new in the business. There's a skinny group of people in between. They came in when there was a big decline in metal prices, (and) a lot of people got out of the business."The mining industry as a whole is experiencing an unprecedented demand for metals and natural resources, Baker adds, influenced by such factors as development in Asia and elsewhere pushing a demand for steel, and the worldwide use of silver for newer technologies.Mining is one of the few industries nationally where long-term, well-paying jobs are being added, says a report for the National Academy of Sciences on emerging U.S. mining workforce trends, undertaken by The Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. Completed in December, it says that in one year—between June 2010 and 2011—coal mining jobs grew 7.6 percent, metals mining jobs grew 3.9 percent, and jobs in support activities for mining grew at a rate of 19.2 percent. The report says, "Even this last year, as overall job growth hit a standstill, mining continues to add jobs at an impressive rate. From June 2010 to June 2011, metal and coal mining added 11,000 direct and 17,000 mining support jobs at salaries well above the national average for all private-sector jobs." The report also says, "Retirement and projected global increase in demand for mine labor will likely provide a steady stream of new jobs with attractive wages. For a period of time, the U.S. will have a workforce composed of very young and very senior workers." The study conducted by the Society found that the U.S. mining industry—when including coal, metal, industrial minerals and aggregates—on average employs about 350,000 people in the U.S., says John Hayden, its director of public affairs and government relations.The average rate of job addition is expected to remain between 11,000 and 13,000 per year in the U.S., "for the foreseeable future," he says. Projections for U.S. mining labor indicate an addition of about 50,000 workers by 2019, but for that gain to be offset by the loss of about 78,000 employees due to retirement over that same period. By 2029, over half the current workforce—about 221,000 U.S. mining workers—will have retired.Baker says the outlook for employment in the industry will likely remain strong for some time."There will be ups and downs for the prices of the products, and that will be driven by supply-and-demand fundamentals, but what is true in respect to silver is it's in demand in a way that it's never been before," he says.He adds, "As far as the outlook for employment in the industry, it's probably the best it's been in 120 years. It doesn't mean you'll always have high prices, but there certainly will be demand for people to do the work."Russell says proactive steps the industry can take include reaching out to state employment offices, and going into schools to encourage an interest in sciences. "We'll need to improve efficiencies." Russell adds. "We do envision a continued stress point on that mid-level experience for some time."He adds, "The last three to four years, it's been a real challenge. With the industry in a boom period, there's a lot of demand for that missing generation."


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