Nevada is the most mineral-rich state in the union. Outside of the Las Vegas and Reno metropolitan areas, mining plays a major economic role in Nevada. By value, gold is by far the most important mineral in the state. In 2013 alone, the mining industry contributed approximately $8.1 billion dollars to Nevada's gross domestic product. This included over 169 metric tons of gold accounting for 74.5% of the U.S. total and helped make the U.S. the third leading gold producer in the world. Other minerals mined in Nevada include silver, copper, construction aggregates, gypsum, diatomite and lithium.
Most of the mines listed on this page are active, corporate operations. Some offer public tours, but most do not. The convention production team will try to arrange tours of the mines near Ely as part of our schedule of events. Please do not try to access these active mine sites without permission from the owners. You could be subject to arrest for trespassing.
Beryl is a mineral that contains a significant amount beryllium. Beryllium is a very rare metal and that limits the occurrence of beryl to a few geological situations where beryllium is present in sufficient amounts to form minerals. It mainly occurs in in granite and granite pegmatites, but can also be found where carbonaceous shale, limestone, and marble have been acted upon by regional metamorphism.
The hexagonal crystals of beryl may be very small or range to several meters in size. Terminated crystals are relatively rare. Pure beryl is colorless, but it is frequently tinted by impurities; possible colors are green, blue, yellow, red, and white.
Track for the Nevada Northern Railway was laid over a century ago, connecting one of the largest copper mines in North America to the Transcontinental routes to the north. Today, several of the original steam locomotives that were used over a century ago are still in operation. The Nevada Northern Railway is the best-preserved example of a standard-gauge short-line left in North America.
The 2016 convention will be offering several trips aboard this historic railway.