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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Alaska's mining industry posts a record year

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska's mining industry posted a record-breaking year in 2006.

State officials say the big increase was largely because of the high prices for zinc and other metals.

The state Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys says Alaska's minerals industry was worth $3.5 billion last year.

Last year, minerals produced in Alaska were worth $2.9 billion. That is more than double the previous year when they were valued at $1.4 billion.

The volume of metals produced in 2006 was up for all commodities except zinc. The industry posted its first-ever $2 billion-plus year of production.

The Red Dog Mine near Kotzebue -- the world's largest zinc producer -- accounted for more than 60% of the total value of Alaska's mineral industry in 2006. The mine produced 614,538 tons of zinc in 2006.

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