HOUGHTON – Michigan’s economy has been linked heavily to the automotive industry for over one hundred years, and the industry will continue to play a role in the state’s economic future; as will another long standing industry, mining. Today, Senator Ed McBroom, hosted an economic round table, to talk about how Michigan and local communities can build for a prosperous future. Much of today’s discussion involved Lundin Mining’s Eagle Mine, and how Michigan can grow the state’s economy off of existing industries and focus on emerging tech in the automotive industry.
The aspects of the EV battery supply chain that Michigan does not have a grasp on are the refinery and manufacture. If the Upper Peninsula can support innovations and companies in the battery supply chain, Michigan could be central to the entire manufacturing of electric vehicles; from the raw materials, to off the assembly line. Michigan Tech researchers have already begun looking into how to use recycled materials in EV battery manufacturing.
Mining companies, automotive manufacturers, and the state government will also need to understand just how viable it is to set up refining and manufacturing in the Midwest. And identify what economic, environmental, and community factors are affected by those opportunities. The round table will meet again tomorrow to discuss more options for growing Michigan and the Upper Peninsula’s economy and populations.