Mining Industry Provides $4.8 Billion of Income and 52,100 Jobs for Arizona, New ASU Study Reports

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Arizona Mining Association's ASU study shows mining jobs have average mining wage nearly double the state average; mining companies and employees contribute more than three times the average taxes paid in Arizona.

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According to a new study from Arizona State University (ASU) conducted by the L. William Seidman Research Institute, part of the W.P. Carey School of Business, copper mining is one of the top ten economic base industries in Arizona.

Mining activity in 2012 generated $4.8 billion in total income for workers, business and property owners, and governments across Arizona, as well as, accounting for 12,100 direct jobs through the payrolls of mining companies. Indirectly, mining generated an additional 40,000 jobs through vendor purchases of mining companies, consumer spending of workers, and the spending of state and local governments out of new taxes.

"Mining activities not only increase the absolute size of the Arizona economy but raise the average standard of living of its residents," said Kent Hill of the L. William Seidman Research Institute at ASU. "The average mining employee income in 2012 was $99,500 per employee which is twice the average labor income per worker in the state during the same time period."

"The taxes paid by mining companies and their employees far exceed the value of the state and local public services they receive," said Kelly Norton, President of the Arizona Mining Association. "We’re one of the few industries statewide that contribute significantly in this manner."

Arizona mining companies and their employees pay three and a half times more taxes than does the average business in the state, according to the ASU study, and found that mining companies paid $206 million in business tax to Arizona governments and their employees paid an estimated $93 million in individual taxes. That’s an average of $17,000 in business taxes per employee, compared to $3,000 average per worker paid by all businesses. Mining workers paid an average of $7,700 in individual taxes, compared with a statewide figure of $3,900 per employee for all other businesses.

"Mining supports an economy with well-trained, well-paid employees, who contribute to our state’s fiscal stability," said Norton. "While it has played a central role in the history of Arizona, it must remain an important part of our state’s economic future."

The "Economic Impact of the Mining Industry on the State of Arizona 2012" was prepared for the Arizona Mining Association by the Institute. The study reported on primary data collected in surveys of Arizona mining companies over the past year. Companies surveyed included all major copper producers, companies making significant equipment purchases and other investments for near future copper production, a coal producer, a uranium producer and several mining exploration firms. Companies involved in sand, gravel and rock products were not included in the analysis.

The economic analysis includes an economic value for each county in the state. The full 2012 study can be found on the Arizona Mining Association website or by calling the association.

In addition to the mining company surveys which collected information on employment, payrolls, state and local taxes and local supplier purchases, the Seidman Institute study used the IMPLAN economic input-output to estimate the multiplier effects associated with the operations of mining companies. The IMPLAN database includes information on industry production functions which makes it possible to estimate the Arizona jobs and incomes that are associated with purchases of goods and services from Arizona suppliers.

About the Arizona Mining Association

The Arizona Mining Association was established in 1965 as a non-profit business league. The association's mission is to advocate and support the continued growth of a responsible and sustainable mining industry for Arizona. The association will do this through the development and sharing of industry best practices and by promoting sound public policy at all levels of government. For more information about the association, visit

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