The Nevada Mining Market: Key Insights
Nevada has a rich history of mining that dates back to the discovery of gold in the 1800s and it remains a significant contributor to the wealth and prosperity of the state today. Whilst Nevada is wealthy in a range of resources such as copper, lead, lithium and zinc, gold and silver dominate the mining scene. Mining contributes $9.04 billion to the state's economy, $8.1 billion of that from gold and silver mining. Whilst Nevada is renowned for casinos and tourism, gold is its largest export industry and is extremely important to the state’s economy, accounting for 73% of USA’s and 6% of the world’s production in 2014. Mining is one of the largest employers in Nevada, boasting more than 12,000 direct workers who receive the highest average wages in the state, with approximately 65,000 indirect jobs created as well.
Nevada is home to multinational mining giants Newmont Mining, Barrick Gold and Goldcorp. Newmont’s Nevada operations account for around 33% of their global gold production and is one of the most sophisticated, integrated projects in the world. The Carlin gold-copper site consists of three open pits, four underground mines and processing facilities, whilst Newmont also have open pit mines in Pheonix and Twin Creeks.
Like all mining regions in 2016, Nevada has undergone significant challenges in recent times. Over 3,000 mining employees have been laid off since the beginning of 2014 as operators seek to minimise costs. Environmental issues are also gaining prominence in Nevada, with increased emphasis on machinery efficiency that will save electricity and fuel consumption and a growing issue of water management. Nevada is also becoming increasingly urbanised, meaning that balancing the interests of stakeholders will continue to become more difficult.
However, these challenges create opportunities for Australian METS targeting the Nevada market. Australia leads the world in many environmental technologies that can help alleviate some of the issues surrounding water quality and energy consumption, whilst productivity improving and efficiency enhancing products and services are also in high demand. There are also many other factors that favour Australian exporters to Nevada. The US is one of Australia’s closest trading partners with established business networks, illustrated by 36% of Australian METS exporters shipping their products there in 2015 (Austmine METS Sector Survey, 2015). Nevada’s mining industry has also been able to remain relatively strong, largely due to the gold price bouncing back quickly, meaning that some companies may be willing to invest in technology. Regulatory conditions are also favourable, with Nevada ranking third in the Fraser Institute’s 2015 survey of mining jurisdictions, based on geological attractiveness and exploration and investment incentives.
Austmine is looking forward to hosting the Nevada delegation, who will be able to provide a more in-depth insight on some of the opportunities and challenges stated above. Register now for the Sydney or Brisbane events to ensure that you do not miss out on this exclusive opportunity to hear from the leading experts in the Nevada mining industry.