A bill that declares the official state metal to be magnesium was approved Wednesday by the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee, but HB297's sponsor, Rep. Ronda Rudd Menlove, R-Garland, predicts the only two "No" votes from key committee members will spell her bill's demise. Copper is the official state mineral, but there is no state metal.
Students from Grantsville High School in Tooele County made their pitch for the bill in front of committee members, telling them that Utah is the only state in the country producing magnesium. It was noted that Tooele County is home to U.S. Magnesium Corporation, which exports its product internationally and is in competition for export revenues with magnesium producers in China.
Menlove broke the news afterward to the students that because there may not be enough time for the bill to move all the way through the Legislature and because of votes by the committee's chair and vice chair, the bill will probably die. Further complicating things, Menlove said an official from Kennecott Utah Copper may want to talk about the possibility of making copper the state metal and magnesium the state mineral.