Gold mining in Nevada
Prior to 1980, the United States did not play a major role in the world gold market, producing less than one million ounces a year. However, over the past 30 years, major discoveries of gold in Nevada have averaged about 7 million ounces per year. In 2012, the United States produced 227 metric tonnes of gold, of which Nevada’s gold production was 75% of the US total, or about 169 tonnes (approximately 6.0 million ounces).
Due to its favorable geology, Nevada has tremendous potential for the discovery of additional gold deposits. There has only been limited exploration in areas where prospective rocks lie beneath a cover of younger, valley-filling sediments and volcanic rocks. Mineral deposits continue to be discovered in and near Nevada’s 526 historical mining districts. Nevada is a world leader in terms of gold production per unit area.
Geologists are helping to guide exploration for concealed deposits below alluvial or young volcanic cover by using various geophysical methods (seismic, electrical, magnetic, and gravity). Nevada attracts a large portion of the worldwide exploration expenditures of companies because of its favorable geology and regulatory climate.