Meagher County Economic Profile prepared by Tetra Tech, 2011
Category Jobs & Economic Development
Appendix A: Hourly Meteorological Data, Second Quarter 2012
Currently, Sandfire America has 21 employees, several contractors and many businesses working on the project, investing over $5 million in Montana during the 2017/2018 fiscal year (July 1 through June 30).
Sandfire has spent approximately $35 million to date, and we expect that $20 million or more will be required to be spent in order to obtain a mine operating permit. The Pre Economic Assessment (PEA) estimates that mine construction will cost about $218 million. A great deal of this investment will benefit the White Sulphur Springs community and the surrounding area.
Montana is unique in that we are the only state that has a Hard Rock Mining Impact Act. The purpose of the act is to ensure that local government services, facilities, social and infrastructure needs will be addressed and available when and where they are needed as a result of new large-scale hard rock mineral developments. This act allows tax moneys to be paid upfront to mitigate any impacts associated with a mine. This agreement is then presented to local officials and the Hard Rock Mining Impact Board.
The Montana Business Assistance Connection has projected that mine development will require 112 housing units in the community and predicts that approximately 31 additional school-aged children will attend school in Meagher County during operational stage. The countywide taxable value is projected to increase upwards of $20 million dollars. Currently, countywide taxable value is $7,888,020 (TY 2012-2013). MBAC also projects annual retail sales increasing by $3.4 million during the life of the mine.
Compensation will be based on skill level, experience training and education. Labor positions will begin around $15/hr. for entry level and $29/hr. for experienced miners and include benefit packages for health insurance, sick leave, vacation leave and some form of retirement package. The average wage of workers will be approximately $65,000 per year including benefits. More highly skilled positions could expect compensation packages commensurate with industry standards for Montana and surrounding region.
If a Mine Operating Permit is approved by the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and a mine is constructed and put into operation, the economic benefit for Meagher County and surrounding areas will be significant. There will be approximately 200 positions needed during the mine construction phase which will last 24 months. When the mine opens, the operational phase will employ approximately 240 full time jobs and 50 full time contractors. These will range from underground miners to truck drivers, electricians, mechanics, business and accounting services, clerical support, human resources, management personnel and related occupations such as engineers, geologists, environmental scientist, hydrologists, surveyors, maintenance personnel and other technical support positions.
Mining covers a large spectrum of skills including; mechanics, electricians, miners, mill operators, underground truck drivers, entry level positions, administrative assistance, engineers, metallurgists, geologists, environmental specialists, reclamation managers, accountants and human resource specialists.
Yes, local hires are critical in ensuring a stable work force and supporting our local economy. It is important to maximize our local/regional hires. We plan to have local Mine Safety and Health Act (MSHA) trainings and other job trainings that will help the work force be ready for job opportunities.