Saturday, 7 February 2015

Bingham Canyon Mine, The Largest Open-Pit Mines in the World

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world, measuring more than 4 kilometers or 2.5 miles wide and 1,200 meters or 3,900 feet deep. Since 1906, when the first steam shovels began removing waste rock from the sides of the mountain to reach the low-grade copper ore deposits, Bingham Canyon Mine has yielded more than 19 million tons of copper, 23 million ounces of gold, 190 million ounces of silver, plus other minerals. The value of the resources extracted from here is greater than the Comstock Lode, Klondike, and California gold rush mining regions combined!

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
Image credit Jeffrey Owen

Bingham Canyon discovered in 1848 by two brothers, Sanford and Thomas Bingham. Although they reported the find to their leader, Brigham Young advised against pursuing mining operations because the survival and establishment of Mormon settlements was of greater importance at that time. It was not until 1863 that extraction of low-grade porphyry copper ore began. These nineteenth-century mines, though, were relatively small. However, in 1903, Daniel Jackling and Enos Wall organized the Utah Copper Company and began construction of a pilot mill at Copperton, just beyond the mouth of the canyon. Serious mining efforts got underway in 1906. The Kennecott Copper Corporation that operated mines in Kennecott, Alaska, acquired the company in 1936. this mine, which is on the National Register of Historic Sites, is just one of the two man-made objects on earth that can be seen by astronauts from outer space. The other is the Great Wall Of China. [source 1 2]

On April 10, 2013, Bingham Canyon also produced the largest, non-volcanic landslide in the history of North America when 65–70 million cubic meters of dirt and rock thundered down the side of the pit. The event was large enough that seismic networks designed to record earthquakes detected the rumble of sliding debris. [source]

Today, the mine is owned by Rio Tinto Group, an international mining and exploration company headquartered in the United Kingdom. The copper operations at Bingham Canyon Mine are managed through Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation (KUCC) which operates the mine, a concentrator plant, a smelter, and a refinery. As of 2010, KUCC is the second largest copper producer in the United States and meets about 13-18% percent of the country’s needs for copper. [source]

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
Image credit Stefan Georgi

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
Image credit Stefan Georgi

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
Image credit static_neurotoxin

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
Image credit katrencikphoto

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
Image credit arbyreed

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
Image credit Alan Cressler

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
The Bingham Canyon Mine Landslides. Image credit R. Rio Tinto Kennecott

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
The Bingham Canyon Mine Landslides. Image credit Rio Tinto Kennecott

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
Image credit static_neurotoxin

The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
A big tire from one of the mine's 190-ton capacity dump trucks that serves as a photo op, and a tape loop that spouts facts 'n figures about the mighty hole in English, Spanish, German, and Japanese. "The Bingham Canyon Mine produces a quarter-millions tons of copper annually," it announces. "The mine has been dubbed, 'The Richest Hole on Earth'." Image credit Stephanie Ip

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