Montana Secretary of State
Secretary Christi Jacobsen

Impressed with tour of Butte businesses

Mining City businesses display technological innovations.

BUTTE, Mont. – Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen visited Butte on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, meeting with business owners and executives in the Mining City.

Secretary Jacobsen met the staff at Montana Resources and took a brief tour of the company’s mining, milling, and concentrator facilities. Montana Resources runs an open-pit copper and molybdenum mine, and processes high-quality metal concentrates that are shipped worldwide.

The company takes great pride in its employees, noting its “people are our greatest asset.” Montana Resources is also well respected for its high safety rating and incredible safety record.

“Montana Resources is an incredibly impressive company with an extraordinary operation. The mining facility was eye-opening, but MR’s dedication to its employees, its safety, and its efficiencies are remarkable,” said Secretary Jacobsen.

Secretary Jacobsen also toured the AtlasPower cryptocurrency datacenter, seeing firsthand how the company performs its bitcoin mining (the process by which new bitcoins are entered into circulation). AtlasPower also joined the Ethereum craze, mining the second-most-traded cryptocurrency with uses GPU processors that can be used for a variety of high-compute applications other than cryptocurrency, like artificial intelligence.

The company has plans to expand with thousands of new processors and could become the largest Ethereum miner in the world.

The tour, given by Sean Gauvreau and Tom Burkhart, also highlighted plans for a 1,600-acre solar power project titled the Basin Creek Solar Project, the largest solar project in Montana, which would provide the data center with green energy.

“The cryptocurrency datacenter was fascinating,” exclaimed Secretary Jacobsen. “With some $200 million worth of servers and plans to add even more, AtlasPower is putting Butte and Montana on the map in the cryptocurrency world. The entire organization is vital to the economy of Butte.”

Wednesday’s tour continued at Montana Craft Malt where president Jen O’Brien and plant director Nabil Kasti provided Secretary Jacobsen with a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s focus on “unique, specialty craft products with consistent quality and approachable pricing.”

Montana Craft Malt uses barley sourced from Treasure State growers and ships to breweries and distilleries across the U.S. O’Brien noted the company’s personal approach focused on partnership, while Kasti showcased his chemical engineering background from the University of Baghdad and University of Dayton, illustrating the malting process.

Following a lunch meeting with Butte-Silver Bow Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher and members of the Butte Local Development Corporation, Secretary Jacobsen was treated to an open house for Montana Connections Business Development Park businesses. The open house, provided by City-County of Butte-Silver Bow Community Development coordinator Kristen Rosa and director Karen Byrnes, included success stories from REC Silicon, Old Dominion Freight Line, and FedEx, among others.

The Butte Chamber of Commerce, led by executive director Stephanie Sorini, held an open house/meet-and-greet at the Butte Visitors Center, where Secretary Jacobsen engaged with local business owners and answered questions about the current state of Montana’s business landscape.

“Butte and its surrounding area are rich with business history. Sixteen active businesses have been around for 100 years or more, and that’s a testament to the hard-working mentality the community continues to showcase,” said Secretary Jacobsen. “It was an honor to meet the owners and employees of these companies and hear about their continued success stories.”

“I would also like to thank Matt Vincent with Rampart Solutions for being an excellent tour guide, highlighting the great businesses and developments the Mining City has to offer,” said Secretary Jacobsen.

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