UM Study: Hardrock Mining Contributes $2.7B to Montana’s Economy

September 14, 2018

MISSOULA – Montana’s hardrock mining industry supports more than 12,000 permanent, year-round jobs with average annual earnings of $86,030, according to a new study released by the University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

The BBER study, sponsored by the Montana Mining Association, found that the eight largest metal and other mines across the state helped produce $2.7 billion in economic output and almost $200 million in state government revenue annually.      

“Hardrock mining delivers vital economic benefits to Montana,” said Patrick Barkey, the BBER director who authored the report. “And because of state government reliance on natural resource taxes, those benefits are spread across the state.”

The BBER report also considered the economic impacts of three new mine developments under consideration. It found that the full development of the Rock Creek, Montanore and Black Butte mines as proposed would add an additional 3,200 jobs and more than $200 million in personal income to Montana households.

“We asked BBER to perform this project because of its reputation for impartial, transparent research,” said Tammy Johnson, MMA executive director. “We think it is important for Montanans to understand the value of what our hardworking members do.”

The BBER study was based on operating information gathered from MMA members, including both production and exploration activities. The study is available at


Contact: Patrick Barkey, director, UM Bureau of Business and Economic Research, 406-243-5113,