Silver mining has a long, storied history in Nevada, and to this day the state's silver deposits remain economically important. So much so that Nevada is nicknamed "the Silver State."According to the Nevada Mining Association, Nevada's silver deposits led the way to it joining the United States, as they drove the economy and the development of settlements. Indeed, silver and gold were involved in the state's first mining boom from 1849 through the 1880s, and then in the resurgence of mining activity at the beginning of the 20th century. Much of the silver discovered in Nevada during the first mining boom was present at surface in heavy grey crusts known as horn silver; miners could simply scoop it off the ground. The resource in this form is now depleted — miners quickly had to turn to tunneling underground — but silver still abounds in Nevada. Currently, the state is the second-largest producer of silver in the US after Alaska, according to the US Geological Survey. Silver mining now takes place throughout several regions of Nevada, but the most important area in the state is the Comstock lode. It was the first major silver discovery in the US, and is in the western part of Nevada, as per Legends of America. After it was found, Western Nevada became a hotspot for silver mining, and many mining camps and towns emerged, some of which became hugely important and influential parts of the landscape of the west. Here are a few of the producers currently operating in the state. Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) Newmont Mining has been working in Nevada since 1965. The company also has operations in Australia, Peru, Indonesia, Ghana, New Zealand and Suriname, and was founded in 1921. Though its core commodities are gold and copper, its Nevada operations produce silver as well as gold. The company has community and sustainability initiatives that aim to increase shareholder returns and keep the communities where it operates safe and economically healthy.