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Butte mining industry getting boost from high copper price and demand

Posted at 7:56 AM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 09:56:41-04

BUTTE — A spike in the price of copper has those in Butte’s mining industry feeling confident in 2021.

“Great prices for us, we’re really excited, we’re expecting a good year, we hope they stay,” said Montana Resources VP of Human Resources Mike McGivern.

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Copper has reached $4.10 a pound and molybdenum has peaked at over $12 a pound. It’s quite a rebound since copper dropped to close to $2 last April.

Officials say the proposed green new deal is suspected of being one of the factors for increasing the demand for copper in this country.

“We’re going to start investing in more electric cars, more windmills. There’s a lot of copper that is required for alternative energy,” said McGivern.

As a result of the good prices, Montana Resources has hired more employees and currently has more than 380 employees on staff.

“We’ve ballooned up a little bit, we’re moving a lot of rock this year, we need more drivers, we need more trucks on the road so that’s why we’re at an all-time high for employment right now,” said McGivern.

Mining officials say that if these high metal prices continue it’s not only going to be good for Montana Resources, it’s going to be good for the economy of Butte.

“And at the end of the day, Butte-Silver Bow’s going to be a winner as well, you know, on the tax bases, the employee bases, it’s going to be a win for our community,” he said.

The company is expected to mine more than 60 million tons of copper this year.