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FOREIGN COUNTRIES HUNGRY FOR MINING, NORTHWEST MINING ASSOCIATION SAYS

 SPOKANE, Wash., Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- As the United States slams the door in the face of the mining industry, other countries are putting out the welcome mat, the Northwest Mining Association (NWMA) said today.
 This message was heard time and again last week at the 98th annual meeting of the Northwest Mining Association in Spokane. The theme of the convention, "New World of Minerals," focused on mining activities, challenges and opportunities in the international arena.
 "In this country, mining may be looked at as a bad guy, but in many countries, mining is looked at as a friend of the people," said Bob Miller, P&M Minerals Business Unit, Chevron.
 Miller, who has extensive experience in South America, said these countries welcome United States technology know-how.
 "It also helps to have North American miners on board to train and supervise to increase productivity and safety," Miller said. "If you are a country like Bolivia or the CIS that has been out of touch for the last 40 years, it's pretty exciting to have Northern Americans interested in you."
 Mo Kaufman, a Spokane miner and metallurgist, has seen similar interest from the CIS, the former Soviet Republics. There are offers of tax incentives and government guarantee of investments. He cautioned that the CIS needs a slow move to capitalism, otherwise chaos will result.
 "Their consumer economy is like ours during the depression in the '30s," Kaufman said, "and they have the worst industrial pollution I have ever seen."
 Kaufman said that soon the United States will be buying oil, gas and minerals almost entirely from overseas. "If we can afford it," Kaufman said.
 "We may become destitute, between losing our natural resource industries and our budget deficit," Kaufman added.
 Miller said that South American countries want U.S. technology but not its rules.
 Government regulations in the United States are the main reason mining companies are looking at foreign mineral development.
 "I haven't seen a new mine permitted in Montana for five years," said Marshall Koval, an environmental expert with Hart Crowser Inc. "The Kensington project in Alaska took five years and 55 permits to get started."
 Kaufman agreed that the United States is a very difficult country for natural resource industries like mining to work in.
 "It's either change our careers or go overseas," said Miller, who has moved 18 times in 20 years.
 While other countries are wooing U.S. miners, 3,353 convention attendees were warned to expect unstable governments, little or no infrastructure and unskilled workers. "In Chile, there aren't enough people who know how to change tires," Miller said.
 -0- 12/11/92
 /CONTACT: Bill Mote of the Northwest Mining Association, 509-624-1158/


CO: Northwest Mining Association ST: Washington IN: MNG SU:

LM-SG -- SE001 -- 6166 12/11/92 11:00 EST
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Date:Nov 13, 1992
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