Better times ahead: Mining industry driving Nevada jobs recovery

The mining industry in Nevada is becoming a catalyst for an employment revival.

Foxreno.com reports the Nevada Mining Association estimates the industry will add 1200 jobs this year in precious and industrial mineral production. That compares to 500 natural resource jobs created last year:

“The precious metals mine operations are growing, expanding, starting up new operations,” said Tim Crowley, president of the Nevada Mining Association. “In addition to that there are a lot of industrial mineral mines that are coming on line. They may not be in production in 2012 but they’re working through the permitting process and getting closer to putting people to work.”

Nevada has been hard-hit by the economic downturn in the US, with the highest unemployment rate in the nation in December at 12.6%.

Expectations are high for General Moly's Mt. Hope molybdenum project near Eureka which is expected to employ 400 people. The permitting process for the mine is being finalized this year.

Other developments in the works include Nevada Copper's Pumpkin Hollow project in Lyon County; an expansion to Barrick Gold's Cortez site that foresees 300 jobs; and the re-opening of the Hycroft silver-gold mine, which expects to add 113 jobs this year.