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World’s Largest Gold Mining Cortez, U.S.

World's Largest Gold Mining Cortez, U.S.

One more Barrick gold mine in Nevada. In 2011, production reached 1.421 million ounces of gold. The mine consists of three operations, namely Pipeline, South Pipeline and Cortez Hills. Pipeline and South Pipeline is an open pit mine, while Cortez Hills are under construction for underground mining. Cortez is the oldest gold mines in Nevada, which has been operating since 1862.
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“New gold strike in Nevada.” Silent.

Public domain film from the Prelinger Archive, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.


Gold mining in Nevada, a state of the United States, is a major industry, and one of the largest sources of gold in the world. Nevada currently mines 79% of all the gold in the United States, which is equivalent to 5,640,000 troy ounces (175 t) in 2009. Total gold production from Nevada recorded from 1835 to 2008 totals 152,000,000 troy ounces (4,700 t), worth over US 8 billion at 2011 prices. Almost all the gold in Nevada comes from large open pit mining and cyanide heap leaching recovery…

Unlike coal and oil extraction, where mining companies pay royalties for minerals obtained from public lands, gold mining companies do not pay any royalties for deposits claimed on federal public lands. This is because gold mines on public land operate under the General Mining Act of 1872.

Although Nevada was known much more for silver in the 19th century, many of the early silver-mining districts also produced considerable quantities of gold. The Comstock Lode, for instance, produced 8,600,000 troy ounces (270 t) of gold through 1959, and the Eureka district produced 1,200,000 troy ounces (37 t). And the Robinson copper mine has produced well over 2,700,000 troy ounces (84 t) gold, along with over 4 billion pounds (1,500,000 tonnes) of copper…

Carlin Trend

Gold was discovered in the vicinity of Carlin in Eureka County in the 1870s, but production was small. Placer deposits were discovered in 1907, but the deposits were too small to cause much excitement. It was not until 1961 that the Newmont Mining Corporation found the large low-grade gold deposit at Carlin that the mining industry began to take notice. The Carlin mine began producing gold in 1965… It was not until the gold price shot up in the late 1970s that mining companies rushed to look for similar deposits.

The Carlin Trend, part of what is also known as the Carlin Unconformity by geologists, is 5 miles (8 km) wide and 40 miles (60 km) long running northwest-southeast, has since produced more gold than any other mining district in the United States. The trend surpassed 50,000,000 troy ounces (1,600 t) of gold in 2002…

Golden Fleece Mine (Nevada)

The Golden Fleece Mine, Washoe County, Nevada, near Poeville site, was operated by the Golden Fleece Gold & Silver Mining Company, incorporated on February 2, 1875, which held one patented claim on the site. W. F. Stewart had published a geological report on the mine in 1879, which had an eight-foot vein of ore. The small mining site was located at latitude: 39.584753, longitude: -119.903055 and has received more interest from historical point of view, than for its yield of gold. Several other mines were operating in the Poeville Mining District during 1863 and mid 1880.


Goldfield was discovered in 1900, and began major gold production in 1902. The ore occurs in altered shear zones in Tertiary dacite and andesite. Total gold production through 1959 was 4,200,000 troy ounces (130 t).


The Robinson district at Ely, Nevada produced about 3,000,000 troy ounces (93 t) of gold through 1990…


The Hardscrabble district was first mined in the 1870s but it was short-lived and little was produced. During the 1880s, a small camp called Garfield, named after the recently assassinated President James Garfield, formed five miles south of the future location of Gilbert. The camp was located next to the Alto Divide mine at Cook Spring. A small mill operated there for many years. The first serious mining in the northern part of the district began in June 1896 when Herman Gilbert and Homer Thompson, searching for a rich lode Charles Lampson had found earlier but then lost the location of, located a new lode they named the Carrie mine. The partners moved a house from Candelaria to the mine. The mine proved most promising but in May 1900, the boom began at Tonopah and the two men headed there to seek their fortune leasing mines. Sadly, both died in 1905 before having the chance to return to work the Carrie mine.

Gilbert’s sons, Fred and Logan, returned in 1916 and leased the Carrie mine from the company formed to manage their father’s and Thompson’s estate. But in 1918, the brothers sold the mine and went to the booming Divide district, just south of Tonopah. Charles Lampson returned to the area in 1922 and after a couple of years, found an old marker he had placed on his discovery in the 1890s. He proclaimed the mine the Last Hope and showed the Gilbert brothers its location. The mine was officially located on September 10, 1924 but the public didn’t find out about the new strike until October 30…
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