“The discovery of the Carlin deposit is one of the most significant events in worldwide mining and in the history of Nevada.
Named for a town on the banks of the Humboldt River, the Carlin deposit was overlooked by the ’49ers who rushed by, along the Emigrant Trail, on their way to the gold fields in California. Because of the extremely fine grain size of its gold particles, Carlin was missed by the ’49ers and by the prospectors that combed the hills of the western United States in the late 1800s. A few gold deposits of what would later be known as the Carlin type were found in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but their significance was not recognized until the Carlin discovery in 1961 and the opening of the Carlin mine in 1965.
Closely following Carlin were discoveries of other deposits along the Carlin trend, a 50-mile long, 5-mile wide belt that now includes more than 20 major deposits. The Carlin trend has developed into one of the premier gold fields of the world. Known resources are immense, tens of billions of dollars worth of gold, and growing, as new discoveries continue to be made. The deposits of the Carlin trend and other Carlin-type deposits have catapulted Nevada into the lead among gold producing states and have made the United States a major gold-producing country and net exporter of gold.
Discoveries of Carlin-type deposits have helped to diversify the Nevada economy. Gold mining directly provides thousands of jobs for Nevadans, indirectly provides thousands more, helps build and maintain infrastructure in rural parts of the state, and broadens the tax base for education and other government programs. Highly skilled miners, including heavy equipment operators and mechanics, engineers, and individuals well versed in computer operations, earn the highest average wages of any industry within the state.
Deposits on the Carlin trend have set new standards for gold mining throughout the world. Large-scale mining, heap leaching, and automation at various levels in the mining, milling, and assaying processes have cut overall costs and allowed lower and lower grades of ore to be mined.
This report, written and reviewed by some of the individuals involved, provides a first-hand account of the Carlin discovery, a milestone in the history of Nevada and in the history of mining.” (“Foreward” by Jonathan G. Price, from NBMG Special Publication 13 by J. Alan Coope)
Read the entire history here:
Carlin Trend Exploration History: Discovery of the Carlin Deposit
More publications on the Carlin trend:
Exploration Resources—check out resources on the NBMG Open Data page: