The bear market might have taken a fair chunk out of the state's income, but the resultant sector cost cutting led to ground falling into the hands of companies eager to leverage it.
It also saw miners and explorers take a risk-averse attitude to investing. This saw a flight of money to ‘quality' jurisdictions.
Nevada is one of only six regions to have ranked consistently in the top 10 of the Fraser Institute's investment attractiveness index over the last six surveys. It also scored 78 out of 100 for an AA-rating within the Investment Risk Index, published as part of the inaugural Mining Journal World Risk Report (feat.MineHutte ratings), and is consistently put up on a pedestal by one of its biggest employers, Barrick Gold.
It was a beneficiary of this trend, as Robert Carrington, president and CEO of Newrange Gold told Mining Journal last year: "Companies found that foreign jurisdictions are more difficult than they thought and people have beencoming back here to explore. People can accept geological risk more than political risk."
This attitude was prevalent when the electric vehicle phenomenon started to rear its head meaning Nevada, as the jurisdiction hosting North America's only operating lithium mine and the US$5 billion TeslaGigafactory, was one of the first places explorers looked to for exposure to the burgeoning market.
A rush ensued: in 2016, just over half of the 19,040 new claims staked and filed were for lithium exploration, according to the state's Bureau of Land Management.
Be everywhere in mining
Access the industry's go-to information resource, with coverage that adds insight to industry topics, trends and issues that matter in the macro environment