A study commissioned by the Montana Mining Association, which also supplied underpinning data, reports that the industry’s economic contributions are significant in the state.

Titled “The Economic Contribution of Montana’s Hard Rock Mining Industry,” the 25-page report was released last week. The University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research crunched the numbers.

“Our basic finding is that the economic contributions of Montana’s hard rock miners to the areas in which they operate, as well as the state of Montana as a whole, are substantial,” the bureau observed.

The report does not analyze the economic and environmental costs of hard rock mining. Such costs can also be substantial.