Mining employment in Nevada has topped 11,100 and is expected to climb more because of a major spike in gold prices, officials said.
The number marks a 15.6 percent increase over the 2004 average,
but is still short of the more than 14,000 employees reported in
1996 and 1997.
Russ Fields, president of the Nevada Mining Association, said
the increase is largely a recovery from drastic cutbacks in past
"A lot of the (employment) growth was replacing jobs that had
been cut back to reduce costs," he said.
And Fields said the 11,100 figure probably is low.
"We think that the numbers are probably very conservative
because they don't include contractors," he said.
Mining companies have reported a shortage of employees because
of a Nevada mining boom spurred by soaring gold prices.
Newmont Mining Corp. and Barrick Gold Corp. have responded to
the shortage by starting a mining academy for workers at a
Winnemucca-area joint venture.
Nevada is the world's third largest gold producer behind South
Africa and Australia.
Gold closed Friday at $623.50 per ounce, up from the bottom of
$252.80 in 1999.