New York and Pennsylvania will shut down in 2018 for the first time in more than a decade as mining companies shut down and thousands of miners have left the country.
The New York Department of Financial Services and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry announced the shutdowns Friday in a joint statement.
The announcement comes as the Trump administration is weighing a crackdown on foreign mining companies that mine in the United States, with a goal of slowing the decline in global prices for gold and silver.
The closures will affect roughly 1,200 employees, according to the statement, and will allow state agencies to reopen their offices and resume normal operations.
New York, for example, is expected to reopen by the end of 2018.
New York State is the largest gold miner in the country, with more than one-fifth of the world’s supply of the precious metal.
It will continue to mine and refine its ore until 2018, officials said.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Treasury, which oversees all public pension funds, will also begin its own efforts to reopen its pension funds to meet the new deadline, officials told The Associated Press.
The state’s governor, Tom Wolf, said earlier this month he would close state parks and recreation centers as well as museums and schools that have not been reopened since January 2018.
The shutdowns are part of a broader plan to address the impact of a drop in global gold and mining prices on American consumers, who have been spending billions on mining equipment and other commodities.
The mining industry’s decline has been exacerbated by a wave of new mining regulations in recent years that have cut profits and forced mining companies to seek bankruptcy protection.
The government also has cut back on grants to help companies pay for equipment and research and development.