NEVADA'S MINERAL PRODUCTION IN 1999

October 2000

Nevada's 1999 mineral production (including petroleum and geothermal energy) is estimated at $2.94 billion, an 11% decrease from 1998 and a 15% decrease from its all-time high of $3.45 billion in 1996.

Nevada mineral, oil, and geothermal production, 1979-1999 bargraph

Nevada produced 8.261 million troy ounces of gold in 1999, which is about 75% of all gold produced in the United States and about 10% of all gold produced in the world. Our gold production makes the United States the second leading gold producer in the world. Nevada gold production decreased 7% from 1998 and, because the average price of gold decreased 5%, the value of production decreased 11% to $2.304 billion.

Gold bargraph

Newmont Mining Corp. continued to be the largest gold-producing company in the United States with 2.498 million ounces of gold produced in 1999: 1.536 million ounces from several Carlin Trend mines in Eureka and Elko Counties, 611,000 ounces from the Twin Creeks Mine in Humboldt County, 240,000 ounces from the Lone Tree Complex in Humboldt County, 55,000 ounces from the Mule Canyon Mine in Lander County, and 56,000 ounces from its one-half ownership of the Rosebud Mine in Pershing County (owned jointly with Hecla Mining Co.).

Barrick Gold was second in U.S. gold production, with 2.183 million ounces. Its Meikle Mine in Elko County, with 977,000 ounces in 1999, had the highest production among underground gold mines in the United States. Its Betze-Post Mine in Eureka County produced 1.130 million ounces, and its Bullfrog Mine in Nye County produced 76,000 ounces in 1999.

Placer Dome U.S. Inc. was Nevada's third largest gold producer with 1.545 million ounces produced in 1999: 1.329 million ounces from its Cortez operation (Pipeline Mine) in Lander County, 111,000 ounces from its Getchell Mine in Humboldt County, and 105,000 ounces from its Bald Mountain Mine in White Pine County.

Other major gold producers in 1999 included the Round Mountain Mine in Nye County (542,000 oz), the Jerritt Canyon Mine in Elko County (363,000 oz), and the Ken Snyder Mine in Elko County (189,000 oz).

Silver bargraph

Nevada produces more silver than any other state in the Union. Although only three mines in Nevada are currently being operated primarily for silver, most Nevada gold mining operations produce silver as well. Nevada mining operations reported production of 19.47 million troy ounces of silver worth $102 million in 1999. Echo Bay Mines' McCoy/Cove operation produced 8.430 million ounces of silver as well as 124,500 ounces of gold in 1999. Nevada's second largest silver producer, Coeur d'Alene Mines' Rochester Mine, produced 6.195 million ounces of silver. Franco-Nevada Mining Corporation's new gold mine in Elko County, the Ken Snyder Mine, was the third largest silver producer in 1999 with 1.938 million ounces.

Copper bargraph

BHP Copper's Robinson Mine in White Pine County produced 61.8 million pounds of copper along with 26,000 ounces of gold and 153,000 ounces of silver in 1999. This mine, the only copper producer in Nevada in 1999, was shut down in early 1999 due to declining copper prices.

Mercury

No mines are currently being operated solely for mercury, but several gold mining operations produce enough by-product mercury to make Nevada the leading mercury-producing state.

Industrial minerals

Nevada produced about $381 million worth of industrial minerals in 1999, slightly more than in 1998. Sand and gravel (aggregate) was the second most important mineral produced in Nevada in 1998, valued at $130 million, well behind gold but ahead of silver. Other important industrial minerals (in order of total value sold) were lime, diatomite, gypsum, cement, barite, lithium, silica, magnesia, and clay. Nevada leads the nation in barite and lithium production and is second in the production of diatomite.

Geothermal power

Nevada's geothermal electric power sales in 1999 were 1,289,000 megawatt-hours worth $92 million, about the same as in the five previous years. Total geothermal power-generating capacity of Nevada's 14 plants (on ten sites) stands at 212 megawatts, also about the same as during the past seven years. No new plants have been installed in the past seven years.

Oil

There are two oil-producing areas in Nevada: Railroad Valley in Nye County and Pine Valley in Eureka County. Annual production reached a high of about 4 million barrels in 1990 but, as a result of watering out of the most productive wells, production has declined markedly in the past six years. Nevada produced 0.7 million barrels of oil worth $10 million in 1999. No new producing wells came on line in 1999.

Most of the production data reported here were collected by the Nevada Division of Minerals. Some of the 1999 figures are still preliminary. For more complete information on Nevada's 1999 mineral production as well as other aspects of the Nevada mineral industry, see NBMG Special Publication MI-1999, The Nevada Mineral Industry 1999, which is currently in press.