Alaskan Mining Association Conference | Anchorage 2022
This year PX4 had the privilege of being a part of the Alaskan Mining Association Conference that was held in Anchorage from the 6th to the 12th of November. The annual convention and trade show was an extensive event that hosted more than 1,000 attendees representing the Alaska mining family, as well as international guests like ourselves. The convention week included networking events, an extravagant mining tradeshow, and technical sessions that gave us the opportunity to connect with representatives from all operating mines and potential mining development projects in Alaska.
Our experience was nothing short of an amazing adventure, and Bill’s summary of the event gives an inside view of just how much we enjoyed it.
“What a great event! A big congratulations to Deantha Skibinski and her team at the Alaskan Mining Association for a smooth, efficient and well-managed event. Welcoming, friendly and caring.
The passion, positive energy, enthusiasm, optimism and belief in the Alaskan mining industry are quite amazing and encouraging. Alaska is blessed with an abundance of natural resources and much of it is unexplored – hugely exciting for the future.
It was a privilege to experience Alaska and its exploration and mining industry and to explore some of the major exploration sites around Fairbanks in particular.
I was most impressed with the few short words, and a quick conversation with Governor Mike Dunleavy. For the first time, I have come across a political leader who understands the importance of exploration and mining, and its absolute relevance to the renewable future that the whole world is aspiring to.
If we are to achieve aggressive renewable electric targets, it is time we adopted an unconditional commitment to exploration and mining. From politicians to our mums, dads, and kids, and throughout the whole of society.
There is nothing in our lives, not one thing, that does not have significant input from a mineral mined from our world. Your mobile phone contains 16 minerals different minerals. Your solar panel has 18 minerals. Your electric car has 2 times the quantity of copper that a normal car.
2030 goals for renewable targets will require 300 times the quantum of copper that we currently mine. Where will those minerals come from, and how will we deliver on all the other critical minerals needed in this space to provide the future we all want to see?
The Alaskans, like us Aussies have identified three issues that we need to overcome if we are to have any chance of approaching the lofty and aggressive goals of our renewable targets:
- More geologists, geoscientists, geo physicists;
- More powerful exploration tools to help us better define and target mineral systems; and
- A far more pragmatic and outcome-focused approval system. A system that recognises we need the minerals, not a system that opposes mining and introduces additional challenges.”
– Bill Haylock, Chairman and Managing Director, PX4
We explored horizons, and are enlightened by the experience.
Spending the week at the event, we leart that the US is such an innovative and dominant country in so many facets, but in the mining and exploration space, they are really lacking. Our solution was the first jurisdictionally specific tool the Alaskans had seen!
There is a real lack of technology tools to assist with the approval and claim management industries.
Permitting and approvals generally in Alaska are huge issues. The time taken to get a mine approved can be up to 15 years – which is slowing down the economy and America’s ability to deliver the critical resources needed to drive a renewable future.
The permitting space is still rather archaic – and these processes must be updated to reflect a modern mining and exploration landscape.
Federal regulation across the US is negatively affecting the Alaskans – and attempts to hinder exploration and slow progress and disproportionately affect the Alaskan people – as the federal government is trying to keep Alaska pristine.
The American people are incredibly passionate, enthusiastic,incredibly welcoming, warm and engaging. We’re so grateful to have been a part of a really well-run event. This is an incredibly exciting time for Alaska with lots happening, but permitting and approvals reform is critical to allow both Alaska and the US to even have a chance of reaching the renewable targets of 2030 and beyond.
We did however realise that there are not enough young geos and mining professionals entering the industry to replace the older generation – a huge role for specific tech tools to fill the gap. Nevertheless, this is an opportunity for companies such as PX4 to work their magic.
Cheers to a well executed event!
Towards the end of the week, we attended the Gala Night Dinner and Awards. The entire team at PX4 would like to extend their heartiest congratulations to Kath at Kinross for the Environmental Excellence Award and Estella Hartz & Greg Beischer at Millrock for their Award for contribution to managing our mental health.
We’re immensely thankful to Vanessa and Dave from Felix Gold and appreciate their volunteer efforts for the AMA. We’d also like to thank Deantha Skibinski and the AMA team for organising the event and Governor Mike Dunleavy for his understanding of the importance of mining and exploration industries in Alaska.
Congratulations to Eric Prendeville and Bartly Kleven for winning the PX4 prizes. We hope you enjoy them. And finally, kudos to all the amazing mining, tech, and supplier companies doing exciting and incredible things.
Here’s till next time!