Positive future for mining despite current prices
A new analysis of the Nevada mining industry suggests Nevada remains the most attractive place in the U.S. to conduct mining operations. Despite a slide in mineral prices and complicated federal regulations that continue to prolong the opening of new Nevada mines, the Silver State leads the nation in best industry practices and investment attractiveness, according to the report. It was conducted by leading analyst Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis and commissioned by the Nevada Mining Association.
• Although Nevada’s economy is growing, the mining industry’s gross domestic product (GDP) is declining – down 28.7 percent since 2012.
• The industry has lost 1,200 jobs (9.8 percent of its workforce) since 2013. It is the only economic sector in Nevada that lost jobs during the last calendar year.
• In 2014, the Nevada mining industry total economic output was $8.8 billion, down from $11 billion in 2013.
• Despite current mineral prices, mining companies continue to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in existing Nevada operations, including exploration.
• In 2014, the Nevada mining industry paid $246 million in state and local taxes.
• Average annual wages in the industry are $91,936, more than double the state average (106 percent of Nevada average wages).
“The mining industry has been remarkably important to the state of Nevada for decades, employing tens of thousands of people and providing good paying jobs,” Aguero said. “They are STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs – exactly the type of jobs we are trying to attract and retain in the state of Nevada.”
“This new analysis indicates that despite falling commodity prices, there is optimism among our members that prices will stabilize,” Nevada Mining Association President Dana Bennett said. “Our members are excited to be part of Nevada’s economic diversification. A successful advanced manufacturing sector needs a healthy mining sector to provide necessary metals and minerals. As Nevada’s oldest STEM industry, mining will continue as a cornerstone of the Nevada economy.”
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.