Nevada - Elko – Gold

State: Nevada
Region: Elko Nevada
Description: Nevada is the third largest gold producer in the world after South Africa (first) and Australia (second). Current mining operations have disturbed more than 100,400 acres of land in Nevada. Some gold mining pits are so large that they can be seen from outer space.


Working with Earthworks, Nunamta Aulukestai from Alaska, and the Western Shoshone communities of Nevada, EcoFlight has conducted overflights of all the major gold mines in this area, assisting tribal leaders in their understanding of the impacts these mines have on the local ecosystem and water resources. Nunamta Aulukestai, meaning Caretakers of the Land in Yup'ik, is a group made up of nine Alaskan tribal village corporations that have come together with a common goal of carefully managing the future of Bristol Bay. Overflights of the Nevada mines allow an understanding of what the proposed Pebble Creek Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska, a controversial plan to build one of the largest mines in the world, would look like. Pebble Creek would be built in an area considered to be one of the world's largest and most pristine wild salmon spawning grounds. It would require an immense open pit, as well as permanent storage of acidic and metallic waste, a 65-mile road cutting through virgin country and crossing numerous salmon streams. In addition, there would be pipelines, a power plant and a major new deep water port on Cook Inlet, home to an endangered beluga whale population.

View our Virtual Tour with Natives from Bristol Bay and local Nevada Tribal members.




For those who want to learn even more about this gold mining operation, view an informative video from 2009, narrated by the President of EcoFlight, Bruce Gordon.