Nevada’s Gold Production Down in a Big Way

With the most recent data out by the USGS, U.S. gold production declined substantially year over year from its number one producing state, Nevada.  According to the statistics, Nevada’s gold production declined a whopping 9% in the first three months of 2013 compared to the same period last year.

Furthermore, total gold production from the United States has declined 5.4% compared to the same three months in 2012.  This can clearly been seen in the next two tables:

U.S. Gold Production March 2013 USGS

From January to March, total U.S. gold production was 54 metric tonnes, while Nevada produced the lion’s share at 39.9 tonnes.  However, if we look at the next table, we can see just how much gold production has declined… especially in Nevada:

U.S. Gold Production March 2012 USGS

Nevada produced 39.9 tonnes of gold in the first 3 months of 2013, down 4 tonnes (9%), compared to 43,9 tonnes from January-March in 2012.  Also, total U.S. gold production has declined from 57.1 tonnes during the first quarter of 2012 to only 54 tonnes so far this year.

Furthermore, we can see that overall gold production from the U.S. would have been lower if it wasn’t for the gains in Alaska (+1.7 tonnes).

Now what is really interesting is the huge decline of gold production in Nevada from its peak in 1998.  In 1998, Nevada produced nearly 9 million ounces of gold, but in 2012, annual production declined to 5.6 million oz.  Thus, Nevada has suffered a 37% decline in gold production in 14 years.

Nevada Gold Production Chart

As the United States continues to suffer from lower gold production, other countries such as China, Kazakhstan, Australia, Chile and Papua New Guinea are forecasted to increase their production to a large degree in the next 4-5 years.

At a time when gold is becoming a much more valuable commodity and monetary metal, it’s interesting to see that gold production continues to decline in the United States — the world’s largest economy.

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6 Comments on "Nevada’s Gold Production Down in a Big Way"

  1. So Steve, given that it’s still indeed possible for countries to increase their productivity in gold/silver….and that falling ore grades in established mines need not hinder the overall mining sector picture…

    Is it your opinion that the real reason for production falling is simply due to one civilisation putting less emphasis on the importance of having and obtaining metal, and the other one more so?

    Put another way: isn’t it true that if the U.S. truly treasured gold/silver….could we not find a way to reverse this trend, ala China and and Russia?

  2. Cleburne61… you bring up a excellent question. Part of the problem with the U.S. having a greater commodity producing industry is that its based primarily on a service economy. We have some of the more expensive labor on the planet. I believe the United States Empire has survived as long as it has presently due to the fact that it has outsourced its manufacturing and exported its inflation.

    Mining in the United States can be more expensive with tougher regulations than in other countries. However, I would agree with you that if the U.S. regarded gold as a strategic monetary metal, you would see more initiative for more gold mining in the states.

    As you know, mining is becoming more expensive, so companies are looking for the best places in the world to open new mines. Even though Nevada has been the King Gold Producer for the U.S., it looks as if production will remain flat and even decline in the future.

    The real problem the Gold Mining Industry will face is when the Fiat Monetary System collapses and the world has to survive on a more cash to cash basis. I am not saying just cash, but no more silly derivatives and financial engineering that has allowed the world (especially the U.S.) to afford energy today that it will not be able to do so in the future.

    When this occurs, mining for metals will become much more expensive and a great deal of the proven resources may never be commercial extracted.


    • when fiat money dies, gold/oil ratio will spike. gold miners can pay for energy costs and other costs in real money(gold). gold miners will enjoy much higher margins in this scenarios. gold miners will be banks that crank out real money(gold).

      btw, comex august gold futuers’ OI collapsed in the last couple of days by about 10% percent. this is very ominous.

      • Judejin… yes, it’s true when the price of gold and silver skyrocket, the mining companies will have much better margins to pay for energy. However, this does not change the fact that as time goes by, there will be less energy supply.

        That being said, I believe the primary gold and silver miners will fair much better than their base metal counterparts in a peak energy environment.

        By the way, that is interesting about the OI in gold Comex Futures.


  3. Very informative, thanks SRS!

  4. comex gold aug OI collapsed further today! something is seriously out of line!

    on July 1st, aug OI was 224K, today it is showing 174K, dropped by 50K. oct OI only increased by 4K. so it’s not due to rollover.

    46000 x 100 = 4,600,000 ounces.

    comex is an exchange with very little physical settlement. it’s time for shanghai to take over!

    damn! i grew up listening to VOA, dreaming of going to america. how times has changed!

    there’s a chinese saying: 30 years river east, 30 years river west.

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