ELKO - Just reading the want ads tells readers the mining industry is looking for people to fill the new jobs the industry is creating at a time of high gold and silver prices.
Now, the Nevada Mining Association did an informal survey that shows the industry is creating between 1,200 and 1,500 new jobs across the state.
"It's a great thing," Nevada Mining Association President Tim Crowley said Friday.
He said the association took the survey of members because Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has "very wisely made it clear that nothing is more important than growing the economy and putting Nevadans to work."
The industry is creating quality, well-paying jobs with the average mining pay at $83,000 a year, Crowley said.
"I think there is a genuine appreciation for putting people to work," he said.
Sandoval announced an economic plan to create 50,000 jobs in the state over the next three years, and the mining industry already is providing a share of those jobs.
The bumps in the road to creating more mining jobs involve the time it takes to permit projects and the struggle to find trained employees, Crowley said.
Barrick Gold Corp. and Newmont Mining Corp. recently gave presentations to government entities to let them know more growth is coming, and the Elko City Council held a workshop this week to look at preparing for that growth.
Crowley said the survey covered more than the hard-rock mining operations - those producing gold, silver and copper. The survey also included industrial mineral operations, and it looked at new jobs created by vendors that deal with the mining industry.
"Cashman Equipment will grown by 50 jobs in 2012," he said.
The association survey shows Newmont will add 250 jobs this year and Barrick, 400 jobs. Allied Nevada Gold Corp. that operates the Hycroft Mine in Humboldt County expects to add more than 100 jobs, and there may be construction jobs by the end of the year if General Moly receives U.S. Bureau of Land Management approval for the Mt. Hope Project in Eureka County.
More projects are coming, such as at Nevada Copper's Pumpkin Hollow Project at Yerington that is beginning to sink an exploration shaft.
Newmont's Long Canyon Project in Elko County is one of those projects that are still coming to create more jobs, and American Vanadium plans a mine in Eureka County, to name just a couple more projects.
Sean Wholly of the Nevada News Bureau stated in an article on the association survey that the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reported the natural resources and mining sector created 500 jobs in 2011.
There were 12,900 jobs in the sector as of December.
According to a Nevada Mining Association blog, the survey was taken at the end of 2011 among members, so there may be more jobs created by those in the industry that don't belong to the association.
Crowley said the ideal is for the industry to make sure Nevada residents fill the mining slots, so the association is working with the colleges and universities to train workers.
"There are transferable skills. We're seeing out-of-work construction workers making a new start in the mining industry," he also said.
The association and mining companies additionally are working on efforts to hire war veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, Crowley said.