Future Economy of the UP

***Featured in the Munising Beacon June 2022

The Ukraine situation has sent shockwaves around the world’s markets, rising the cost of vital resources. The residents of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are insulated from the rest of the world, and have the opportunity to walk a path of peace and progress.

Russia’s exports to the world are becoming cut off, which leaves a power vacuum of sorts that will need to be filled by other exporters. Russia was the second largest importer of aluminum last year.
It has exported 43% of the world’s palladium, 10% of platinum, 8% of gold, 6% of uranium, and similar percentages of silver, iron ore, copper and aluminum.

Just this month, nickel value has made headlines with a 110% increase. Last year, the price of platinum was projected to rise by 80% over four years. Aluminum prices spiked in 2021, and continue to rise dramatically this year. Companies like enCore Energy Corp seeks to cash in on the rising cost of uranium. Copper prices were rising sharply in 2021, but began to slump early this year. It is now surging again due to the Ukraine situation.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has all of these elements and more. We have minerals like potash, magnesium and uranium, platinum group metals like palladium, and rare earth elements like yttrium. These elements all have wide and specific uses, such as in the computer and agriculture industries, defense and even health.

Bitterroot is a mining company that mines silver and gold in Nevada, and is currently exploring in the Upper Peninsula. Bitterroot and its partner Below Exploration Inc. (51%/49%) are currently in the middle of exploration of their lands, and are finding what they have called ‘high-grade nickel-copper-platinum-palladium deposits’. While the project is reported as conditioned upon things like new legislation, regulations and other uncertainties, it is moving forward with assays rather quickly and should have a proper assessment of what elements are available within weeks or months. Bitterroot stock is trading around 10 cents on the TSX-V.

As the world seems to always be in a crisis, the Upper Peninsula is in a unique place to foster peace between neighbors and progress for families and individuals. A strong history of mining, unions and workers has shown the very path forward, to a stronger economy and greater autonomy for Yoopers. Workers are the future of the UP economy.