NEVADA'S MINERAL PRODUCTION IN 2000

November 2001

Nevada's mineral production (including petroleum and geothermal energy) in 2000 is estimated at $3.02 billion, 3% more than in 1999 but 12% less than its all-time high of $3.45 billion in 1996.

Nevada mineral, oil, and geothermal production, 1976-2000 bargraph

Nevada gold production in 2000 increased by 4% to 8.585 million troy ounces, which is about 75% of all gold produced in the United States and about 11% of all gold produced in the world. The value of production increased 4% to $2,395 million.

Gold bargraph

Newmont Mining Corp., the largest gold-producing company in the United States, produced 2.990 million ounces of gold in Nevada in 2000: 1.866 million ounces from several Carlin trend mines in Eureka and Elko Counties, 779,000 ounces from the Twin Creeks Mine in Humboldt County, 281,000 ounces from the Lone Tree Complex in Humboldt County, 40,000 ounces from the Mule Canyon Mine in Lander County, and 48,000 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 2.452 million ounces from Nevada mines in 2000. Its Betze-Post Mine in Eureka County regained its position as Nevada's greatest gold producer by producing 1.646 million ounces, and its Meikle Mine in Elko County, with 806,000 ounces, had the highest production among underground gold mines in the United States in 2000.

Placer Dome U.S. Inc. was Nevada's third largest gold producer with 1.144 million ounces produced in 2000: 1.01 million ounces from its Cortez operation (Pipeline Mine) in Lander County and 134,000 ounces from its Bald Mountain Mine in White Pine County.

Other major gold producers in 2000 included the Round Mountain Mine in Nye County (640,000 oz), the Jerritt Canyon Mine in Elko County (335,000 oz), and the Ken Snyder Mine in Elko County (198,000 oz).

Silver bargraph

Nevada produces more silver than any other state in the Union. Although only two mines in Nevada are currently being operated primarily for silver, most Nevada gold mining operations produce silver as well. Nevada mines yielded 23.205 million ounces of silver worth $115 million in 2000. Echo Bay Mines' McCoy/Cove operation produced 12.328 million ounces of silver as well as 163,000 ounces of gold in 2000. Nevada's second largest silver producer, Coeur d'Alene Mines' Rochester Mine, produced 6.678 million ounces of silver along with 76,000 ounces of gold. Franco-Nevada Mining's Ken Snyder Mine in Elko County, with 1.942 million ounces of silver and 198,000 ounces of gold, ranked third in silver production in 2000

Copper bargraph

Nevada's copper production decreased drastically when BHP Copper's Robinson Mine in White Pine County was shut down in early 1999. In 2000, Nevada's only active copper mine, the Tonopah Mine in Nye County, produced 11.7 million pounds of copper.

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 $395 million worth of industrial minerals in 2000, 3% more than in 1999. Sand and gravel (aggregate) was the second most important mineral produced in Nevada in 2000, valued at $126 million, well behind gold but ahead of silver. Nevada leads the nation in production of barite, lithium minerals, and magnesia, and is second in the production of diatomite. Other important industrial minerals (in order of total value sold) were lime, cement, gypsum, magnesia, silica, and clay, valued at more than $5 million each. Barite production increased 34% in 2000, due primarily to increases in gas well drilling in North America.

Geothermal power

Nevada's geothermal electric power sales in 2000 were 1,260,000 megawatt-hours worth $90 million, about the same as in the six previous years. Total geothermal power-generating capacity of Nevada's 14 plants (on ten sites) stands at 216 megawatts, also about the same as during the past eight years. No new plants have been installed in the past eight years, but the recent California energy crisis has spurred exploration and development

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 production has declined markedly in the past eight years. Nevada produced 0.62 million barrels of oil worth $14 million in 2000. No new producing wells came on line in 2000.

Most of the production data reported here were collected by the Nevada Division of Minerals. Some of the 2000 figures are still preliminary. For more complete information on Nevada's 2000 mineral production as well as other aspects of the Nevada mineral industry, see NBMG Special Publication MI-2000, The Nevada Mineral Industry 2000, which is currently in press.