Nevada mining has produced minerals that are key to our innovative and advanced society for over 150 years. You can find more than 20 minerals that are produced around Las Vegas and Nevada. We may not realize it right away, but these minerals are in thousands of items we use every day.
Minerals Mined Throughout Nevada
Minerals can be found in electronic devices, transportation, and buildings all around us. As we keep coming out with new technologies, our STEM industry will provide the minerals we need to help shape our future.
Here are just some of the minerals that can be found right here in Nevada while mining:
Copper is a great conductor of electricity. Most of the copper we mine today is used to conduct electricity – it’s mostly in wires. It also conducts heat and we use it in cooking utensils, heat sinks, and heat exchangers. Copper is usually alloyed with other precious metals like gold and silver.
You can find copper in the oxidized zones of copper deposits, hydrothermal veins, cavities of basalt and pore fillings and replacements in conglomerates. We mostly extract copper from sulfide deposits.
Copper was one of the earliest metals that were used by ancient societies. Sometimes you would be able to find nuggets of copper in streams and its properties would allow it to be easily worked without a processing step.
Copper is mined in three counties in Nevada; Lander, Storey, and White Pine. We mostly will see copper being used in copper wire, copper cookware, power lines, and computer cooling.
Geothermal energy is a clean and sustainable form of energy. It relies on natural heat from under the Earth’s surface in order to turn turbine blades and create electrical currents. Here in Nevada, we are second in the nation after California in geothermal power production, according to the Energy Information Administration. We also have the country’s largest geothermal energy potential.
We produce more than 486 megawatts of geothermal energy. That is enough energy to power more than 315,000 homes for a whole year! In Nevada, there are about 19 geothermal energy facilities.
We mine geothermal energy in 8 counties; Churchill, Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, Pershing, and Washoe.
Gold is the most useful mineral because of its special properties. It is able to conduct electricity, won’t tarnish, easy to work, can be made into wire, can be hammered down into thin sheets, alloys with other metals can be melted and designed into shapes, and overall has an amazing color.
Our most important and industrial use for gold is the manufacturing of electronics. Gold is an efficient conductor that carries tiny currents without corrosion. We can find gold used as connectors, switch and relay contacts, connecting wires, joints, and connection strips.
Gold is also used in plating, dental work, and gold jewelry. As technology grows our demand for gold will grow. There are few to no metals to substitute in for gold, because of this the value and importance of gold will increase over time.
In Nevada, we mine gold from Elko, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Nye, Pershing, and White Pine.
Lithium is used in a wide range of items starting with medicines and ending with lithium batteries. Cars, phones, laptops, and cameras may all rely on lithium to hold their charge and power their operation.
Lithium is the lightest solid element and does not occur naturally in its elemental form anywhere on Earth. Miners will mine for spodumene, hectorite or lithium salts which have lithium further refined inside.
We are home to the only operating lithium mine in the United States. 100% of the domestic production of lithium is done here in Nevada.
This is a naturally occurring organic compound that forms an organic matter. Petroleum is usually refined into fuels, heating oil, asphalt bases, or into feedstock to make plastics.
Petroleum can be used to fuel transportation and can be found in tire rubber. We mine it in Elko, Eureka, and Nye.
Salt is composed of two elements, sodium, and chlorine. Before we had refrigeration methods, salt was the main method for preserving our food. Back in the day, ancient civilizations used salt as currency and as an item to trade for.
We also rely on salt to maintain our health as well as animal’s health. Humans need sodium for nerve and muscle function. It also helps to regulate fluids in our body and controls our blood pressure.
Salt is used to lower the freezing point of water, which is why we spread it on roads before big snowstorms.
Silver is a precious metal because it is considered rare and has a high economic value. We label silver as valuable because of the number of physical properties it carries. Silver’s electrical and thermal conductance is higher than all other metals.
It is more reflective than other metals and has an attractive color that won’t tarnish. The color is so desirable we use it in jewelry, coins, tableware, and other objects.
Today we use silver in antimicrobial lab coats, photography, water purification, and solar panels.
Mining with Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging
Nevada seems like the hotspot for mining many important minerals. Mining can also be very dangerous if you don’t utilize the proper equipment or do regular inspections on your wire rope. Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging is the only one of its kind in Nevada. We also have several divisions and hold expertise in each field. We specialize in a broad range of rigging related services including mining. Check out our product catalog or call us today so we can help you get your mining on!