The Business Council of New York State supports the legislation Passage of this resolution to amend Article XIV, Section IV of the Constitution, authorizing a land exchange with NYCO Mineral, Inc. (NYCO) to enable NYCO to continue its wollastonite mining operations in the Town of Lewis, Essex County.
NYCO is the world's foremost producer and supplier of wollastonite (calcium metasilicate), which is a rare, white mineral having commercial application as a reinforcement or additive in ceramics, paints, plastics, friction products and various building products. Wollastonite provides strength and improved performance due to its needle-shaped structure. It is inert, bio-soluble and non-hazardous, and is an ingredient in the replacement of asbestos and other man-made-fibers.
The Lewis mine produces 60,000 tons of wollastonite annually, a little more than 8% of the annual worldwide production. However, NYCO's mine is approaching the end of its pit life because the wollastonite vein extends onto adjacent Forest Preserve land.
NYCO's main competition comes from China, India, Finland, and elsewhere in the United States. In order to remain competitive, NYCO must mine as efficiently as possible and ensure customers of long-term reserves.
The Business Council supports S.7654A/A.10641A because the amendment represents a balanced approach to the environment and the economy that will provide continued economic opportunity to people of the Adirondack Region.