Notable gold mines in the United States include the Carlin-Nevada Complex, the Cortez Gold Mine and the Betze Post Goldstrike Gold Mine, all of which are located in Nevada. Other prolific gold-producing states include western states such as Alaska, Utah, Colorado, Washington and California.
Gold was originally discovered in North America in 1782 in Virginia, but it was not until 1799 when it was first mined. The first gold mining operation was established on Reed Farm in North Carolina. Most people, however, commonly associate the discovery of gold in the United States with the California Gold Rush, which began in the late 1840s.
Since that time, gold production has occurred primarily in the mountainous regions of the west. Once gold-rich states such as North Carolina and Georgia have almost entirely depleted their gold reserves, and they do not even appear on the U.S. Geological Survey as of 2016.
While gold production both nationwide and worldwide has decreased in the 21st century, the state of Nevada continues to mine large quantities of the rare element. Gold was first discovered in the state in the 1870s, but it wasn't aggressively mined until the 1960s when the Newmont Mining Company moved in and established operations.
As of 2016, Newmont owns the most productive mine in Nevada, the Carlin-Nevada Complex. Barrick Gold owns the other two leading mines in terms of production, Cortez and Betze Post.