After The Hill's Jim Snyder reported yesterday that Kraig Naasz--one of the top trade association lobbyists in DC--was out as president and CEO of the National Mining Association (NMA), Naasz made it official today, releasing a statement that he was leaving to pursue other opportunities.

"I'm proud of the progress we've made, value all that I've learned and feel privileged to have worked with such an outstanding and committed team. I depart NMA to pursue other opportunities knowing that NMA is well positioned to continue to champion mining's enormous contribution to the nation's economy and our way of life," Naasz said.

Some members had apparently been unhappy with Naasz's leadership during a tough time for the mining industry, as the Democratic Congress looks to enact stricter regulations that could lead to higher costs.

Naasz reflected on his tenure at NMA, noting several achievements that came while he was at the helm.

"It has been my honor to serve the National Mining Association and one of America's bedrock industries over the past three years. During that time, NMA added 41 new members, doubled its budget resources, expanded and enhanced its government affairs program, bolstered its advocacy capabilities and provided the genesis for a $40 million public education campaign," Naasz said.