HJR 56: Relating to yttrium mining and transfer of the linear induction motor research vehicle to Alaska.

00HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 56 01 Relating to yttrium mining and transfer of the linear induction motor research 02 vehicle to Alaska. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS yttrium bearing and other rare earth minerals have been identified in large 05 quantities on Prince of Wales Island, and the quantity is sufficient to establish facilities for 06 the mining of yttrium on Prince of Wales Island; and 07 WHEREAS the Prince of Wales deposits are the only known deposits of yttrium 08 bearing minerals in North America; and 09 WHEREAS, based on the present world market, one pound of 99.9999 pure yttrium 10 has a market value of $320,000; and 11 WHEREAS the presence of yttrium in the state offers Southeast Alaska an economic 12 development opportunity in the areas of mining, refining, research, and manufacturing; and 13 WHEREAS yttrium mining activity on Prince of Wales Island could result in 14 transportation of the extracted materials to the Metlakatla/Ketchikan area for further refining

01 and processing; and 02 WHEREAS the local availability of refined yttrium metal would promote the 03 establishment of a major research and manufacturing facility for yttrium-based products in 04 Metlakatla and Ketchikan, resulting in new career opportunities for Alaskans; and 05 WHEREAS products manufactured using yttrium and technology involving yttrium 06 include powerful frictionless motors and magnetic levitation equipment for use in 07 transportation systems, superconducting fault limiters, electromagnetic mass launchers, and 08 yttrium coated tapes and wire; yttrium wire can also be used in medical equipment, including 09 field magnets in MRI-scanning machines; and 10 WHEREAS the firm of Power Superconductor Applications Corporation, based in 11 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has expressed an interest in working with the state to establish 12 manufacturing and research facilities in the Metlakatla/Ketchikan area using the local 13 workforce and local facilities, including establishment of a high speed test track at the vacant 14 Annette Field at Metlakatla; and 15 WHEREAS Power Superconductor Applications Corporation has requested assistance 16 from the state in securing use of a 30-ton linear induction motor research vehicle (LIMRV) 17 currently in storage by the Federal Railroad Administration; and 18 WHEREAS the LIMRV is expected to become part of a four-year based retrofit and 19 research project involving yttrium, yttrium products, and yttrium technology; and 20 WHEREAS the retrofit and research project is expected to start in 1998 and is 21 expected to lead to the establishment of a new $3,100,000 yttrium and yttrium products 22 manufacturing facility in the Metlakatla/Ketchikan area, employing 55 Alaskans; once transfer 23 of the LIMRV to the State of Alaska takes place, 15 new jobs for Alaskans are expected to 24 be established immediately; and 25 WHEREAS requests for funding to establish new yttrium industrial and research 26 sectors in Southeast Alaska are not currently being made by the state; 27 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature would welcome a transfer of the 28 linear induction motor research vehicle (LIMRV) to the state as a federal contribution to 29 establishment of a new industrial and research sector located near Metlakatla and Ketchikan, 30 the only known North American source of the valuable metal yttrium; and be it 31 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Federal Railroad

01 Administration, the Alaska Congressional delegation, and the Governor to facilitate transfer 02 of the LIMRV to Alaska for a period of at least four years. 03 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to Ms. Jolene M. Molitoris, Administrator, 04 Federal Railroad Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation; and to the Honorable Ted 05 Stevens and the Honorable Frank Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, 06 U.S. Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.