Nevada Gold Mines Helped Rural Economies Survive Financial Crisis


"…mining and mining services contributed $2.4 billion to Nevadans' personal incomes in 2008."

The richness of Nevada gold mines, coupled with soaring record gold prices, have placed international gold companies firmly in the crosshairs of social service advocates seeking additional revenue to staunch the hemorrhaging of deficit government spending.

For the past few years, the Nevada Mining Association has produced an annual economic overview aimed at educating state and local government officials on the world's fourth largest gold producer in order to show how important a role gold production plays in the Nevada economy.

The latest version of the report highlights increasing production costs, higher state and local taxes paid by the industry, and the impact of permitting delays in retaining a viable Nevada mining workforce.

Report author Dr. John Dobra, an economics professor at the University of Nevada Reno, estimated the state's gold reserves at year end 2008 were an estimated 70.4 million, almost identical to the previous year. The state continues to have enough reserves to maintain production at current levels for an additional 12 years.

It was the eighth straight year of production decline. "While lower production levels may seem like bad news in the short term, in the longer run it extends the life of ore bodies and enhances the sustainability of the industry," Dobra said.

Despite the decline Nevada gold production still accounted for over 79% of total U.S. production and approximately 7.3% of world gold production. While the Nevada Division of Minerals reports over 20 major gold/silver mines in the state, several are closed or operating reduced levels.

In his analysis, Dobra estimated that mining and mining services contributed $10 billion to Nevada's Gross State Production (GSP) in 2008, compared to $9.6 billion in 2007. He also calculated mining and mining services contributed $2.4 billion to Nevadans' personal incomes in 2008.

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