Zinc Mine in St. Lawrence County Creates More Than 200 New Jobs
New York Power Authority's Low-Cost Hydropower and Power Proceeds to Support Growth of Company and Economic Development of Region
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of Empire State Mines, a zinc mine in Fowler, St. Lawrence County. The mine is officially reopening after the completion of a comprehensive, $33 million investment by Titan Mining Corporation, which has created more than 200 jobs at the site, exceeding the firm's commitment to the state. The Empire State Mines project is being directly supported with a four-megawatt allocation of low-cost hydropower from the New York Power Authority's St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project in Massena, New York.
"Job creation continues to be one of New York's top priorities and the reopening of Empire State Mines will provide an economic driver for the North Country for years to come," Governor Cuomo said. "Our ability to allocate low-cost power to this project was crucial to its completion, and ultimately helped us to bring hundreds of skilled labor opportunities to the region."
"Our focus on upstate job creation continues with the reopening of Empire State Mines and over 200 new jobs," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "With state support, this business was able to access low-cost hydropower to leverage significant private investment and build on our economic development strategy that has renewed hope for communities in the North Country and across the state."
In addition to low-cost power, NYPA also provided $330,000 in funding as part of a $1.2 million Empire State Mines program to train up to 60 local workers as certified underground miners. NYPA also provided the mine's restart with a $500,000 loan from its North Country Economic Development Fund, which is administered by the Development Authority of the North Country.
Empire State Mines is part of a mining district that first began production more than 100 years ago and produced more than four million tons of zinc contained in concentrate. The 2,700-acre zinc mine ceased operation in 2008 due to low zinc prices, but is now starting to produce again. The primary uses of zinc are for galvanizing steel, die-casting alloys and brass castings mainly for construction, transportation, and infrastructure.
NYPA's hydropower allocations from the St. Lawrence-FDR power plant are provided to manufacturers under seven-year contracts and are reserved for businesses in Franklin, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties. The NYPA Board of Trustees approved the hydropower allocation to facilitate the reopening of the zinc mine in December 2014.
Judge Eugene L. Nicandri, NYPA Board of Trustees Vice Chairman and Massena resident said, "NYPA has been very active with economic development incentives in the North Country, providing support to firms willing to invest in the area and create jobs. I'm proud to see the completion of the Empire State Mines' project and I'm now eager to see the mine operating and more North Country residents having the opportunity to work at the mine."
Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA President and CEO said, "Titan Mining has been committed to re-opening this century-old mine and NYPA's hydropower and economic development funding allowed for the perfect marriage to get it done. This is a big win for the region, creating more than 200 jobs, and NYPA is proud to have been a partner in this venture every step of the way."
Keith Boyle, Chief Operating Officer of Titan Mining, said "We are thankful for the direct support from NYPA and our many stakeholders in the successful restart of the mine. We are very proud of this opportunity to create new jobs and skills-development which will serve the company and community well for future generations."
Senator Joseph Griffo said, "As Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee, I would like to congratulate Titan Mining Corporation and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) on a job well done in securing the re-opening of the Empire State Mines. Providing low-cost power and economic development support to this project, which will create more than 200 jobs at the site, is consistent with NYPA's core mission and I am so pleased to see this century-old zinc mine back in operation."
Senator Patty Ritchie said, "The reopening of the Empire State Zinc mine is already having a tremendous impact on local economies in the North Country and its people who have been looking for this kind of employment opportunity. I was pleased to advocate for a specialized training program at the mine specifically for people in the North Country. When I recently visited the mine, I was proud to see those efforts have already paid off, as 70 percent of its employees are from our region. Thanks to these hardworking individuals, and Titan's leadership, I know the mine will continue to grow and be successful for many years to come."
Assemblywoman Addie Jenne said, "The restart of this mine is good news for the North Country. The allocation of power and other financial resources will boost the regional economy through the direct jobs and the spin-off effect. This use of our unique natural resources to improve families' lives makes sense. We know the resource is here and our local workforce can handle the job. I am glad that NYPA and the Governor are supporting this effort to support jobs that make sense for our region."
Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush said, "These positions at the zinc mine are the kind of rewarding, well-paying jobs we can create when we make smart investments in effective workforce development and affordable energy. NYPA's allocation of low-cost power was instrumental to the completion of this project. I want to thank Titan Mining Corporation for its commitment to the Empire State Mines Project. This is a major win for the North Country economy."
Patrick J. Kelly, CEO of the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency and Chairman of the Northern New York Power Proceeds Allocation Board, said, "With the help of the Governor and NYPA we are capitalizing one resource, our hydropower assets, to support and develop another resource, our workforce. As a result, Empire State Mines, LLC is creating a significant number of jobs and bringing substantial positive economic impact to the region. We thank our state level partners and welcome Empire State Mines to the County."
James W. Wright, Executive Director of the Development Authority said, "The Development Authority of the North Country is proud to be the managing agent of the New York Power Authority's North Country Economic Development loan fund. As the loan fund representatives we are pleased to assist in the financing critical to the reopening of the mines and this significant reinvestment in the region's natural resources."
St. Lawrence County Legislature Chair Kevin Acres said, "This is great news for the North Country. This project has created much needed jobs for our communities and will provide an economic boom to the county."
Gouverneur Town Supervisor David Spilman said, "The reopening of the zinc mine and the addition of 200 good-paying jobs has been a tremendous economic benefit to our community. I appreciate the efforts of the Governor, NYPA and St. Lawrence County in providing the resources to facilitate the reopening of the mine."
Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall said, "It is great to see the mine and its operations coming back to life. I want to thank those who have worked to make this project a reality. It is a shining example of New York working to maximize its natural resources to help promote economic development in the state."
There is more than 235 MW of low-cost NYPA hydropower still available for allocation to businesses looking to create jobs and invest in the North Country through NYPA's Preservation Power program. Interested businesses looking to apply can reach out to NYPA at [email protected].
NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.