Nevada Mining Association Records

Identifier: 88-43

Scope and Contents

The Nevada Mining Association Records are divided into seven series, the largest of which are the records proper of the Association. Among the more important of these records are incorporation papers, minutes of the executive committee, membership lists, correspondence, reports, and position statements. These papers provide details on the formation and governance of the Association, and the close interrelationship between the mining industry and government. They furnish an overview of the industry which is not normally available through records of individual mining companies.

Of particular note are the correspondence series and report files. The correspondence includes many letters from Nevada's leaders, most of whose early careers were in mining, including Tasker L. Oddie, Emmet D. Boyle, Patrick McCarran, Key Pittman, and James S. Scrugham. Subjects discussed include legislation affecting the mining industry, advice on many issues, and more personal matters such as attendance at Association events. Correspondence from individuals contains many letters about membership in the Association which provide clues about the general state of the industry, as, for example, where mine owners either refuse or withdraw their membership because of industry slumps. Other letters responded to inquiries from the executive secretary about their need for commodities such as cyanide. For some time, the Association bought large quantities of commonly used supplies at a discount, passing the savings along to members.

The report files are comprehensive on some subjects which are otherwise not readily available. Files on taxation provide statistics on the amount of money paid in taxes by individual mines, including some material on assessments in particular counties. There are a number of yearly reports of wages paid by the mining industry in Nevada and the west; these document wages at individual mines and for the various positions held by miners. Other topics featured in reports include stream pollution, mineral land withdrawals, depletion rates, and open pit mining. Reports about specific mining companies encompass the Mellan Gold Mines, Round Mountain Gold Dredging Corporation, Kennecott Copper Company, and Nevada Consolidated Copper Company.

Another important series of this collection is Series 2, the Nevada Industrial Commission. The Commission and the Association shared a mutual interest in the implementation and funding of the workmen's compensation fund; the Commission in its administration and the Association in its funding through assessments of employers. These papers explore this interrelationship through printed copies of legislation enabling the Commission, financial statements, correspondence, a file on accidents, and transcripts of court rulings involving the Commission.

The Association's executive secretary was often prominent in the Nevada community as a whole, serving on a number of public boards and commissions. Series 4, the Silver Centennial Committee, and Series 5, the Bicentennial Commission for Nevada were two such boards on which executive secretary Louis D. Gordon served. These series contain bylaws, minutes, correspondence, and financial reports of those two organizations.

The collection includes several small series of note: one on the United Western Miners, circa 1948-1959, and the American Federation of Labor. The former contains mostly correspondence about this "break-away" attempt to form a new miners' union, while the America Federation of Labor series contains reports on two annual meetings in 1921 and 1924.

The collection contains only a few photographs; they consist of images of the Kennecott Copper Company operations at McGill, Nevada; the Consolidated Copper Mines Corporation mines at Kimberly, Nevada; a compressor rotor made from titanium from the Titanium Metals Corporation of America; and an unidentified group of men (possibly NMA officials) at a Nevada mine site, circa 1910s.


  • 1913-1975


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Administrative History

The Nevada Mining Association (NMA) was organized in Tonopah, Nevada, on March 24, 1913 as the Nevada Mine Operators Association. It was then under the leadership of John. G. Kirchen, J. E. Sherwin, Albert Burch, George Wingfield, Louis Koontz, W. B. Alexander, Henry M. Hoyt, W. H. Blackburn, A. H. Lawry, Hugh A. Brown, Frederick Bradshaw, and W. S. Norris. By August of that same year, the Association had moved its offices to Reno, Nevada, where they remain headquartered today.

In 1913, as now, membership consisted of the principle metal producers in Nevada who banded together for protection, mutual cooperation, and assistance. The Association was concerned with the solution to mining and metallurgical problems; legislation, both national and state as it affected the industry; and the bulk procurement of certain commonly used mining commodities such as cyanide. The Association closely monitored Nevada state government and the administration of various commissions. One agency receiving particular attention was the Nevada Industrial Commission, since the Association was for many years the major underwriter of the State Insurance Fund (contributing 80% of the capital in the fund in 1916). From 1913 to the 1960s the NMA was represented on the Commission by one of its members.

The Association recruited its members from Nevada mine owners and operators, with two categories of membership available: corporate or individual. Corporate members were required to pay an initial fee of $25 to join and monthly dues of a fixed amount for every miner employed during the month. General meetings of the entire membership were held yearly. An executive committee, meeting monthly, gave overall direction to the Association, while the executive secretary (now retitled the executive director) implemented Association policy and managed routine affairs. For much of its history and throughout much of the period covered by this collection, the executive secretary's position was held by Henry M. Rives, whose personal papers may also be found in the Special Collections Department, and by Louis D. Gordon, whose speeches and reports form a part of this collection.


2 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Nevada Mining Association (NMA) was organized in Tonopah, Nevada, on March 24, 1913 as the Nevada Mine Operators Association. Its membership consisted of the principal metal producers in Nevada who banded together for protection, mutual cooperation, and assistance. These records include incorporation papers, minutes of the executive committee, membership lists, correspondence, reports, and position statements.


Arranged into the following series: 1) Nevada Mining Association; 2) Nevada Industrial Commission; 3) American Institute of Mining Engineers; 4) Silver Centennial Committee; 5) Bicentennial Commission for Nevada; 6) United Western Miners; 7) American Federation of Labor

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by the Nevada Mining Association via Executive Director Rod Higgins in May 1988.

Separated Materials

Printed materials about minerals and mining, including journals from the Nevada Bureau of Mines and many books contained in this collection were transferred to either the Special Collections book stacks or the library's general stacks.

Photographs transferred to the Special Collections photo archives as collection UNRS-P1988-51.


Guide to the Nevada Mining Association Records
Susan Searcy
October 1988
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. Special Collections Department Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
Reno Nevada 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)