Nevada has a long history as a leading mineral producing
state. Since the gold and silver rush in the 1850s, which
inspired Nevada's statehood in 1864, to the present, Nevada
has been a hotbed for mineral and metal mining. Much has changed
during the past 150 years, however, one constant has remained;
mining continues to be an important part of the state's economy
– especially in mining communities and counties. While
a relatively small industry – ranked 9th in state gross
domestic product – mining's importance to Nevada's economic
and social infrastructure can't be underestimated as the industry
continues to produce the necessary minerals on which our society
Nevada is one of the special geologic places on the globe
where wide arrays of minerals are prevalent, such as gold,
silver, copper, barite, molybdenum, clay, silica, lithium,
and many more. Even geothermal heat is abundant in the state
and mined for energy.
Producing these important minerals requires a significant
workforce. More than 12,000 people are directly employed by
the Nevada mining industry. This number may not seem significant
in urban Las Vegas or Reno, but these jobs exist predominantly
in rural Nevada and are vital to the well-being of those communities.
While unemployment statewide nears historic levels, it is
significantly lower in mining communities. Plus, those employed
in mining are paid some of the highest salaries in the state,
averaging almost $83,000.
While the economic impacts might be clear, there are still
misunderstandings about mining in Nevada that can cloud policy
and regulatory matters, not to mention public perception.
The Nevada Mining Association has existed for more than 100 years-first established in 1912 as the Nevada Mine Operators Association and changed to the Nevada Mining Association in 1952. From debating policy matters in the state
legislature and local governments to uniting the voice of
the industry in public relations and leading the industry's
efforts in the community, the work of the Nevada Mining Association
can be seen in all corners of the state and in all levels
of the communities.
The Nevada mining industry is spread out over one of the
largest, most sparse states in the union; it is an industry
with unique needs and encompasses a diverse and wide ranging
array of different professions. The Nevada Mining Association
is able to extract the common needs of its many disparate
member companies and speak with one voice for the gold miners
in Elko, the geothermal well drillers in the rural valleys,
the parts distributors in Las Vegas, the geological engineers
in Reno and the 60,000 other Nevadans who rely everyday on
this vital industry.
By producing many of the minerals on which our society depends,
mining continues to be integral to Nevada. The industry strives
to be a good steward to the environment, and is committed
to being a good corporate citizen of the state, while employing
a well-paid workforce and contributing to the communities
in which it operates.