Archive | January 2013

National Radon Action Month—January 2013


January is National Radon Action Month. Please click on links below to find out how you can protect your family from the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States. Free short-term testing kits are available through February 2013 from your Cooperative Extension Office.

University of Nevada Cooperative Extension

Nevada Radon Education Program:

For Kids – Radon Activity Book:

Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

Radon in Nevada (B108):

Radon in Nevada – A natural hazard (E18):

Reducing radon in Nevada homes (E21):

Geographical Information System (GIS) analysis of radon data (SP17):

Environmental Protection Agency

A Citizen’s Guide to Radon:

American Lung Association

Radon Fact Sheet:

U.S. Geological Survey

The Geology of Radon:



New Director of Center for Research in Economic Geology (CREG)—John Muntean


Announcement from MSESE Director, Russ Fields (12-14-12):

“I am pleased to announce that Dr. John Muntean has been named Director of the Ralph Roberts Center for Research in Economic Geology (CREG) at the Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering.  The Mackay School is part of the College of Science, University of Nevada, Reno.

Dr. Muntean will lead CREG in its mission to direct research in the field of economic geology specifically on the deposition of gold deposits. CREG is a unit of Mackay’s Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering.

Following is information about Dr. Muntean:

John Muntean is a Research Economic Geologist and Associate Professor with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology at the University of Nevada, Reno.  He received his BS from Purdue University, his MS from the University of Michigan, and his PhD from Stanford University.  Before joining UNR in 2005, John worked 12 years in the mining industry for companies exploring for gold in Nevada, including Santa Fe Pacific, Homestake, and Placer Dome.  At Placer Dome, he provided technical support for Placer’s worldwide near-mine and long-term generative exploration efforts.  His research has been on epithermal, porphyry, and Carlin-type gold deposits in Nevada and Latin America.  At NBMG he has also been involved in mineral assessments, mapping projects, database compilations, and reporting on mineral exploration activities in Nevada.  He is an active member of the Society of Economic Geologists and the Geological Society of Nevada.

Please join me in welcoming John as the CREG director.  John’s email address is

I also wish to recognize Dr. Tommy Thompson for his leadership of CREG for approximately the last 16 years.  Dr. Thompson and his graduate students have worked on many of the questions on gold deposition and have advanced our collective understanding.  We wish him well as he continues to serve on the faculty of the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering at Mackay.”

John Muntean would like to add:

“I look forward to working with any who are interested in helping CREG continue to develop and grow into a world-class research unit in the formation and exploration for ore deposits. I have many ideas that I’d like to bounce off people.  If I don’t contact you first, please contact me with your suggestions.  My email is Thank you for your continuing support of the CREG program.”

Lecture by John Muntean—Friday Jan. 18, rsvp by noon Wednesday Jan. 16

Speaker: Dr. John Muntean (Director, Ralph J. Roberts Center for Research in Economic Geology; Research Economic Geologist, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology)

Title: Exploration for Gold in a Mature Terrain: Maintaining Nevada’s Gold Rush

What: Geological Society of Nevada monthly meeting

When: Friday January 18, 2013 (drinks at 6:00 PM, dinner at 7:00 PM, and talk at 8:00 PM)

Where: Reno Elks Lodge, 597 Kumle Lane, Reno, NV

Contact: Dinner reservations must be made by NOON, Wednesday January 16. Contact Laura Ruud, Geological Society of Nevada, at (775) 323-3500 or email for reservations.


Gold production in Nevada increased in 2011 for the second year in a row, to a total of 5.54 million ounces.  However, production has decreased 10 of the last 13 years from its peak in 1998, when a record 8.82 million ounces were produced.  Exploration spending in Nevada remained high in 2011 with over $600 million in expenditures, the majority of which was by junior companies exploring for gold.  Nevertheless, since the price of gold bottomed out at $279/ounce in 2000, only five new >2 million ounce deposits have been found (Cortez Hills, Long Canyon, South Arturo, Long Canyon, and Gold Rush), a much lower rate of discovery than the previous two decades.  Current exploration continues to focus on known areas, many of which contain known resources that have benefitted from the current high price of gold.  Is Nevada at the beginning of a long decline that mature terrains inevitably experience?  The main geologic challenge in maintaining Nevada’s gold production is exploration under cover.  Half of Nevada is covered by alluvium, and significant additional areas are covered by pre-ore and post-ore thrust plates and volcanic rocks.  The talk will focus on gaps in our knowledge of Nevada’s gold deposits that bear on two basic questions facing explorationists: 1) Where to look? and 2) How to detect? Emphasis will be on Carlin-type gold deposits that account for about 80% of Nevada’s production.  Meeting the challenges of finding new deposits in the future will require a new generation of highly skilled, creative explorationists.  Opportunities exist for companies, universities, and government to cooperate in the training of future explorationists and in undertaking studies from the atomic to regional scale to fill the knowledge gaps.  The traditional practice of individual researchers working with individual companies needs to evolve.  The challenges should be prioritized into individual cooperative projects between multiple companies and research institutions that share results.  Models for such cooperative research exist (e.g., CODES, MDRU, AMIRA, CAMIRO).