March 09, 2012
An informal survey developed by the Nevada Mining Association s...
When it joined the United States in 1864, Nevada was a fledgling state in the West. Just shy of 150 years later, Nevada now claims the highest value mineral production in the country and the highest percentage of U.S. total mining production. In 2011, the Brookings Institution identified the mining industry as having vast growth potential in the state.
The industry is certainly living up to those expectations. Nevada minerals mining contributed more than $3 billion to the state economy and nearly $7 billion to the state’s GDP in 2012. The state’s prosperity can be attributed to the abundant deposits of gold, copper, sand, lime and silver.
Despite the “Silver State” moniker, Nevada’s gold production is particularly notable, accounting for 72 percent of all gold produced in the United States. As a result, the state is the fourth largest gold producer in the world.
In addition to gold and silver, other mineral resources from Nevada are proving to be quite valuable to U.S. manufacturing. For example, K2 Energy, based in Nevada, uses the state’s lithium resources in its battery backup systems, electric vehicle motors and handheld devices. The company experienced a 3,000 percent growth rate in just three years as a result.
In a state that struggles with high unemployment rates, mining is critical to Nevada’s economic health. Minerals mining provides more than 48,000 Nevada workers with stable, well-paying jobs.
Although Nevada joined the union on Oct. 31, we commemorate its adoption every year on the last Friday in October. For its fiscal accomplishments and industry foresight, the Nevada mining industry deserves to be lauded. When developing their own mining sector, other states should look to Nevada as a success story.