January 14, 2021
Even during an international pandemic, mines in the U.S. are expanding. Take J.R. Simplot. In July, the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved the project to expand the Smoky Canyon open-pit phosphate mine in southeastern Idaho. This mine supplies ore to a processing facility located about 90 miles away. And phosphate is an important component in our complex economy. Phosphate is used in products that support agriculture, wildfire suppression and other industries.
The East Smoky Panel Mine, which was just approved, is actually the second mine approved for J.R. Simplot this year. The Dairy Syncline Mine Project was approved in April. That mine will be the next “generation” of phosphate mining for Simplot in southeastern Idaho. The project is expected to support more than 400 mining and service jobs over the next 30 years. In addition, the mine is expected to contribute to the region’s economy via taxes and royalties, purchases, and sustaining support and service jobs that provide $25 million in direct earnings.