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Las Vegas hosts big expo people can "dig"

Victoria Spilabotte

Las Vegas hosts big expo people can "dig"

CREATED Sep. 24, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Thousands of people looked pretty small standing next to giant machines at this year's mining expo.

For three days companies from all over the world will showcase mining materials in the Silver State.

"The whole industrial supply chain starts really right here at the Las Vegas Convention Center," Luke Popovich, National Mining Ass., said.  

More than 50,000 people are checking out the latest and greatest. Organizers said the Las Vegas Convention Center is one of the only convention centers in the world that can fit large machines.

Organizers said this is the world's largest mining expo and Nevada's local mining industry is helping drive the state's economy. Unlike our name, the Silver State, Nevada is rich in gold.

"If Nevada were a county it would be the world's third largest gold producer," Popovich said.

"When you look at things like unemployment in mining communities it's very low around 5 to 7 percent," Tim Crowley, Pres. Nevada Mining Assn., said.

From the minerals in your smart phone to the minerals in your computer. Organizers said we don't really realize the natural materials in everyday life.

Nevada's Mining Association said the non-gaming economic impact of the expo is $51 million. The expo runs through Wednesday Sept. 26.