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Of the $355 million in net proceeds from Red Dog Mine operations paid to NANA, $221.5 million was then distributed to other Alaska Native regional and village corporations and at-large shareholders. (Photo: NANA Corp.)

A recent report about the economic benefits of Alaska’s mining industry, put together by the McDowell Group, breaks down the $1.26 billion in direct economic benefits from Alaska’s mining sector during 2018. In addition to underscoring that jobs are the single biggest economic contributor of mining to the State of Alaska, the report reveals that mining proceeds to Alaska Native Corporations are exceptionally far-reaching.

“Mining is a growing force in Alaska’s economy, providing jobs for thousands of Alaskans and millions of dollars of personal income throughout Alaska,” the report states.

Mining provides some 4,500 direct jobs. Add in indirect jobs, and the industry employs some 9,200 people, paying $715 million in payroll. People who work directly in the mining sector earn twice the statewide salary average across all industries, with an average wage of $102,100 per year.

NANA, an Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) owned by the Iñupiat people of Northwest Alaska, is responsible for thousands of those jobs. Fifty-five percent of the year-round jobs at Red Dog Mine, on NANA Corp. lands, are filled by NANA shareholders, including NANA companies, other service providers, and Teck Alaska, Inc. — a U.S. subsidiary of Teck Resources Limited, a diversified mining and metals company headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Red Dog Mine was developed in 1982 under an innovative operating agreement between NANA and Teck. NANA owns the land on which Red Dog Mine is situated, and NANA shareholders receive direct and meaningful benefits from development at the mine.

From the Red Dog Mine, NANA Corp. received $355 million in net proceeds in 2018 — money distributed to communities across the state through provisions in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA). Under ANCSA, NANA must distribute 70 percent of net revenues from resource development on its ANCSA lands among all 12 Alaska Native Regional Corporations. In a nutshell, $221.5 million of last year’s net proceeds from Red Dog were distributed to the other 11 ANCSA Regional corporations — reaching 200 villages across the state.

In total, between 1982 and 2018, NANA has received some $1.9 billion in net proceeds from Red Dog and paid more than $1.2 billion to other regional and village corporations.

As NANA states: “Red Dog is more than just a mine developing essential minerals; it is a mechanism for hope and catalyst for the northwest Alaska and statewide economy.”

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