Spending on Alaska mineral exploration for mining increases

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Nearly $150 million was spent on mineral exploration for primarily large mine opportunities in Alaska last year.

The Alaska Journal of Commerce reported Wednesday that figure is up from just more than $50 million in spending three and four years ago.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources says mineral exploration spending reached a peak of $350 million per year in the late 2000s.

Curt Freeman of Fairbanks-based Avalon Development Corp. says there were 18 large exploration projects across the state for "every metal under the sun."

Freeman says Alaska's six metal mines are all large operations and the state does not have a mid-sized mine.

An official says the Alaska Mental Health Trust Land Office is exploring a growing heavy mineral prospect on the Gulf of Alaska coast.


Information from: (Anchorage) Alaska Journal of Commerce, http://www.alaskajournal.com

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