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Mining claims in Nevada

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The hardrock mining industry owns gold, silver, and other precious metals and minerals beneath an estimated 2,508,276 acres of U.S. public land in Nevada, resources worth millions of dollars a year, acquired for as little as $0.84 per acre and held in perpetuity for a yearly rental fee as low as $0.62 an acre. Under a 132-year-old law originally intended to spur development of the West, an industry dominated by a handful of multinational corporations pays no federal royalties, and leaves behind a landscape of dramatically diminished value, scarred with tunnels, pits, and toxic waste piles.

Quick facts about mining claims in Nevada

• Total number of claim-holders: 4,437

• Acres of public land claimed by the mining industry, estimated: 2,508,276 (1 of every 50 acres in Nevada)

• Dollars paid for each acre: as little as $0.84, and as little as $0.62 yearly rental fee

• Reimbursement to the federal government for gold, silver and other precious metals taken from public land: $0

• Companies owning minerals on at least 10,000 public acres: 77

• Percentage of claims held by foreign companies: 32%

• Land area ever claimed by the mining industry nationally, estimated: 79 million acres (the size of New Mexico)

EWG analysis of data compiled by the Bureau of Land Management.

Top Mining Claim Owners in Nevada Ranked by Acres Claimed

Companies have been consolidated to account for subsidiaries. View this table without consolidation.

 Company/IndividualHeadquartersNumber of ClaimsAcreage ClaimedDate(s) Filed
1 Newmont Mining Corp Denver, CO 16,726 329,634 1886 to 2003
2 Placer Dome Inc World HQ in Canada 13,352 260,518 1886 to 2003
3 Rio Tinto Limited World HQ in Australia 7,663 147,455 1886 to 2003
4 Barrick Gold Corporation World HQ in Canada 5,205 114,559 1905 to 2003
5 Kinross World HQ in Canada 3,398 80,995 1905 to 2003
6 Carl Pescio Elko, NV 2,277 46,996 1994 to 2003
7 Anglo American Mining World HQ in UK 2,103 43,448 1951 to 2003
8 Seabridge Gold Corp World HQ in Canada 2,059 42,539 2002 to 2003
9 Noranda Expl Inc World HQ in Canada 1,979 39,079 1913 to 2000
10 Meridian Gold Company Reno, NV 1,908 39,075 1951 to 2000
See all claim holders in Nevada

Some of the claimants in this table may be in partnership with other individuals or companies with a claim to the same land.


Counties in Nevada Ranked by Acres Claimed

 CountyNumber of ClaimsEstimated Acreage  
1 Elko County 19,766 406,054 details map
2 Eureka County 16,992 339,197 details map
3 Nye County 14,011 311,342 details map
4 Lander County 15,376 307,326 details map
5 Humboldt County 14,317 300,397 details map
6 Clark County 3,321 185,988 details map
7 Pershing County 6,565 149,851 details map
8 White Pine County 7,563 149,222 details map
9 Esmeralda County 3,725 96,563 details map
10 Mineral County 3,925 78,665 details map
See all counties


Examples of Mines in Nevada

Name of MineLocation of MineMine StatusMetal MinedOwner or Parent Company of Owner
Cortez (pipeline) Gold MineLander County, NVOpenGoldPlacer Dome US Inc
Equatorial TonopahNye County, NVClosedCopper OreEquitorial Mining Limited
Meikle (goldstrike, Purple Vein ) Gold MineEureka County, NVOpenGoldBarrick Gold Corporation
Denton RawhideMineral County, NVClosedGoldRio Tinto Limited
PhoenixPershing County, NVProposedGoldNewmont Mining Corp
Ruby Hill Gold MineEureka County, NVClosedGoldBarrick Gold Corporation
Mule CanyonLander County, NVClosedGoldNewmont Mining Corp
Golden Phoenix Mineral RidgeEsmeralda County, NVSuspendedGoldGolden Phoenix Minerals, Inc
Rochester MinePershing County, NVOpenSilver oresCoeur D'Alene Mines Corp
Trenton CanyonHumboldt County, NVOpenGoldNewmont Mining Corp
See more mines in Nevada

Source: EWG analysis.



Source: EWG analysis of Bureau of Land Management's Land and Mineral Records 2000 (LR2000) data system. For claims, acreages are estimated based on maximum allowable size of claims. For patents, acreages are taken directly from the LR2000 database where available, and are estimated based on maximum allowable size of claim that preceded the patent where acreages are not noted in LR2000. All notices are assumed to be five acres in size, and the size of plans are calculated directly as the size of the land represented by the legal land description in the LR2000 database. The acreages we estimate through these methods would tend to overestimate the actual amount. We welcome corrections here, and would welcome a federal data management system that included the acreages involved in these important federal land transactions.