About The Division of Minerals


To encourage and assist in the responsible exploration for and the production of minerals, oil, gas, and geothermal energy which are economically beneficial to the State, to provide for public safety by identifying, ranking and securing dangerous conditions at mines that are no longer operating, and collecting and disseminating information on exploration, production and related topics.


Mike Visher joined the Division of Minerals in 2004, serving seven years as Chief of the Abandoned Mine Lands program and eight years as the Deputy Administrator prior to being appointed as Administrator in 2020. Mike spent 16 years working as an exploration geologist for FMC Gold and its successor Meridian Gold, with six years as manager of their Rossi project and resultant STORM gold deposit (later mined by Barrick) on the Carlin Trend. Mike is a graduate of California State University, Hayward.

What We Do

The Division is responsible for permitting, inspecting, and monitoring all oil, gas, and geothermal drilling activities on both public and private lands in Nevada. Staff also monitors production of oil, gas, and geothermal resources to ensure proper management and conservation. Nevada is a member of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission.

The Division's abandoned mine lands program provides for public safety by identifying and ranking dangerous conditions at mines that are no longer operating, and by securing dangerous orphaned mine openings. The program continually urges the public to recognize and avoid hazardous abandoned mines.

The Division is involved in a wide array of activities relating to mineral development. Staff compiles annual data on all active mines in Nevada and maintains the State's mine registry. Information concerning mining operations and production is made available to the public through this yearly publication. Educational documents and materials concerning many aspects of the minerals industry are also produced. The Division participates in governmental activities affecting policies and laws concerning the minerals industry and resource development. The Division administers the State's reclamation bond pool.

View the video "Nevada Division of Minerals, an Overview" for more information about our agency.

Source of Funding

Virtually all sources of funds for the Division are from fees and assessments from the mineral industries with which we work, grants, and publication sales. There are no State general funds in the division's budget.