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Email   White Pine County
801 Clark St.
Ely, NV 89301
Ph: (775) 293-6509
Fx: (775) 289-2544
City of Ely

Ely is the largest city in White Pine County and is the only incorporated city in White Pine County.  Ely also serves as the County seat.  According to the Nevada State Demographer, July 2011 the population is 4,069.


Ely was founded as a stagecoach station along the Pony Express and Central Overland Route.  Ely’s mining boom came later than the other towns along US 50, with the discovery of copper in 1906 in McGill and Ruth.  This made Ely a mining town, suffering through the boom-and-bust cycles so common in the west. 

Originally, White Pine County was home to a number of copper mining companies, Kennecott being the most famous.  Kennecott shut down and copper mining disappeared (temporarily) in the mid 1970’s.  With the advent of cyanide heap leaching, a method of extracting gold from what was previously considered very low-grade ore, the next boom was on.  Gold mines as widespread as the Robinson project near Ruth and the Barrick Gold mine 65 miles from Ely, kept the town alive during the 1980’s and 1990’s, until the recent revival of copper mining.

Robinson Nevada Mining Company which was formerly owned by Quadra FNX, employs 510 people.  Recently KGHM International Ltd purchased the mine and continues to mine and ship copper concentrate.  

Ely is located at 39°15’12”N 114°52’38”W.  The total area equals 7.1 sq. miles (185.5 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 4,041 people, 1,727 households, and 1065 families residing in the city.  The population density was 566.8 people per square mile.  There were 2025 housing units at an average density of 309.3 per square mile.  The racial makeup of the city was 89.14% white, 0.32% African American, 3.12% Native American, 1.09% Asian, 0.35% Pacific Islander, 3.71% from other races, and 2.28% from, two or more races.  Hispanic or Latino of any other race were listed as 12/35% of the population.


Commercial air service is available at Yelland Field Airport.  Major roads include U.S. Route 6, U.S. Route 50 (Ely is the eastern end of the portion of US 50 known as the “Loneliest Road in America”), U.S. Route 93.  The historic Lincoln Highway, the first road across America went through Ely, entering from the north on US 93 and departing town to the west on US 50.  Ely is home to the Silver State Classic Car Race on Nevada State Highway 318 that attracts entries from all over the world.

Places of Interest

  • Nevada Northern Railway Museum
  • Great Basin National Park
  • Cave Lake State Park
  • The Ely Renaissance Society Outdoor Murals and Sculptures
  • The Ely Renaissance Society Village
  • The Ely Elk Viewing Area
  • White Pine Museum