The two largest gold miners in the world are planning to stay in Nevada for years to come according to a report by Bloomberg.
Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. both have operations in Nevada that provide more than a third of the total output. The state produces more gold than South Africa and Chile combined, and in the Bloomberg report both gold mining companies say they expect the trend to continue.
The miners are refining exploration techniques, while looking deeper and in areas they’d previously dismissed to find new resources.
“In a lot of ways, even as mature as northern Nevada is, it’s still young from a discovery standpoint,” said Doug Livermore, Newmont’s regional project director for North America. The state accounts for more than 6 percent of global gold production.
With the 28 percent drop in gold prices last year forcing miners to look for lower-cost ways to increase output and cut exploration budgets, companies such as Barrick and Newmont are focusing more on existing holdings. Nevada’s deposits also offer lower investment risk than mines in less politically stable regions of the world.
Newmont is considering moving forward with its Long Canyon Mine, a deposit that was found in a rock formation that geologists didn’t expect to contain gold. Newmont is also sinking a new shaft to expand its Leeville mine in Nevada.
Barrick’s efforts to find and develop new deposits are focused on Nevada, especially a 15.6 million-ounce trove that Chief Executive Officer Jamie Sokalsky called one of the world’s top exploration finds of the past decade. The Goldrush deposit is just 6 km (3.7 miles) from the company’s Cortez Hills Mine, on the other side of a mountain. Concealed under rock and dirt, it was impossible to spot with traditional techniques.