ELKO — Nevada’s mining industry might be taking a hit right now because of low gold prices, but walk through this city on any weekday about 6 a.m. and you wouldn’t know it.
Workers in pickups and mining rigs, most of them with the ubiquitous red warning flags called buggy whips, crowd Idaho Street, the main drag. Long lines of traffic roll in from the residential areas south of town along the Lamoille Highway as locals head to the mines for another workday.
Gold prices have plunged over the past 18 months, dropping from a high of about $1,800 an ounce in 2012 to about $1,315 Friday, but don’t tell the people of this mining-centric town in northeastern Nevada. Although some operations are struggling to stay open, here the boom continues for the most part unabated.
Mining is the ninth largest economic sector in Nevada based on gross domestic product, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. There were 12,600 direct mining jobs in Nevada in 2012. Continue Reading →