Demand for essential minerals continues to grow, which poses a problem for Nevada’s mining workforce

nevada-mining-work-force

Nevada’s mining sector seems to be on a firm footing on the surface. According to the Nevada Extraction Association, the Silver State generated 77 percent of the gold and 28 percent of the silver mined in the United States in 2018.

According to the US Geological Survey, the state placed first in non-fossil energy minerals output last year, accounting for 11% of the country’s total and worth $9.14 billion.

The industry, on the other side, is having trouble finding an essential piece: fresh workers. The mining sector in Nevada employs about 15,000 people.
According to NVMA President Tire Gray, the industry is “about 500 jobs behind where it should be,” which has been the situation for years.

nevada-mining-work-force

As the US seeks to secure the local supply chain for rare earth elements and other key minerals used in electric vehicle batteries and renewable energy, such as lithium, the need for additional miners will only grow, according to Gray.

“The number of vacancies in the mining sector will increase as a result of an increase in demand for mining services,” Gray said.

Gray cited the projected lithium mining project at Harding Pass in rural Northern Nevada, headquartered in Humboldt County near Orovada, about 50 miles north-northwest of Winnemucca, as an illustration.

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The massive hole, which would have been built atop a protracted mountain in Northern Vegas, would be the country’s first new large-scale lithium mine in more than a decade. According to Gray, the mine, which would be built on leased government land, may help the US decrease its near-total dependence on foreign lithium supplies. That is, assuming the human resources shortage is resolved as well.

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