A leader in copper production, the state of Arizona has been a forerunner in the mining industry for over a century. From an economic perspective copper is considered to be the state’s most valuable commodity that contributes to 75% of Arizona’s nonfuel mining production.
In addition to this, a majority of the mining jobs in Arizona belong to the molybdenum, cement, crushed stone, limestone and construction sand and gravel industry. These commodities make up about 99% of the state’s production value – which as of 5 years ago, was valued at USD 7.84 billion.
With over 350 quarries in the state, there is no debate that majority of the Arizona jobs market is dominated by the mining industry.
The metallic mineral districts of Arizona are known to yield silver, copper, gold and a range of base metals. Copper mining and refining alone offers about 10,000 jobs in Arizona. The Copper mining industry alone is known to contribute to the US economy up to 34.2 billion dollars and to the state economy a sum of about 12.1 billion dollars.
With mining companies investing in infrastructure, equipment and refinement facilities – a large number of towns were given birth in the early 20th century to encourage this industry. In addition to this, these settlements were known to give employment to a large number of locals as well as immigrants from all parts of the world.
The state is also the second largest producer of molybdenum a by-product of copper – further contributing to the growth of the mining industry in Arizona.
The state’s mining history talks a lot about role of silver and gold in the economic development in these regions. Historically, gold was mined from the rivers in central Arizona. Today with the introduction of newer technologies, it is possible to mine inaccessible gold and ore mines with ease. Additionally, the state is also the 5th largest producer of silver – which is also mined primarily as a byproduct of copper processing.
Impact on the Economy and Arizona Jobs Market
As the prices of copper continue to soar, the industry continues to thrive in the state. The fact that two of the major mining companies in the region continue to hire more people every year – is a sign that the mining industry of Arizona is far from losing out on its leadership position.
Among the larger companies in the state, Freeport employed about 7,800 people in Arizona in the year 2012 – 700 more than that hired in 2011. Additionally, Asarco, another leading company in copper mining had about 2,400 people on their pay role in 2012 – 40 more than they had in 2011. With a quite few unfilled positions, the job market in the mining industry here is constantly on the lookout for qualified personnel.
Both these companies alone paid out about 900 million dollars in wages, salaries and benefits to their employees in 2012. With a promising future, the mining industry is Arizona is definitely one to consider for job seekers within the United States.
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