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Nevada mines’ production close to 7 million ounces of gold in 2004

Appeal Capitol Bureau

Nevada mines produced 6.94 million ounces of gold in 2004.

Although that is 5 percent less than production in 2003, the Nevada Division of Minerals says Nevada remains the world’s third-largest gold producer, after South Africa and Australia.

Because of rising gold prices, the total value of the state’s production was up from $2.66 billion in 2003 to more than $2.84 billion. A Minerals Division spokesman said the average gold price in 2004 was $410, compared with $363 the previous year.

Minerals Division Administrator Alan Coyner said exploration activity also picked up significantly in 2004, which could further increase production.

Silver production increased slightly in 2004 to 10.3 million ounces. Based on an average price of $6.77 an ounce, the calculated value of that silver was $69 million. Because of higher prices, that is significantly up from the $50 million calculated value of silver production in 2003.

Coyner said industrial mineral production also increased in 2004 from $300 million to $360 million. Industrial minerals include aggregates, barite, clay, dolomite, lithium and magnesium compounds, opals, salt and sand, among others.

n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.