World's Biggest Open-Pit Mines

World's biggest open-pit mines

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012
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Whether it's raising islands, splitting mountains or extracting resources; people are constantly changing the face of the planet. Miners have made some of the largest holes in an effort to move ore to mills.

Mir Diamond Mine

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Mir Diamond Mine Owner: Alrosa Type of Mine: Diamond Location: Mirny, Russia Built: 1957 Currently the second largest man-made pit in the world.  This diamond mine, located in Mirny, Russia, is so massive that it creates a downdraft strong enough …

Diavik Diamond Mine

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Diavik Diamond Mine Owner: Rio Tinto (60%) & Harry Winston Diamond Corporation (40%) Type of Mine: Diamond Location: Northwest Territories, Canada Built: 2003 Though not as large as its Russian counterpart the Diavik diamond mind located in the Northwest Territories …

Bingham Canyon Mine

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Bingham Canyon Mine Owner: Rio Tinto Type of Mine: Copper Location: Utah, United States of America Built: 1904 Visible from outer space and also known as the Kennecott Copper mine, the Bingham Canyon Mine is the deepest open-pit mine in …

The Kalgoorlie Super Pit

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

The Kalgoorlie Super Pit Owner: Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Type of Mine: Gold Location: Kalgoorlie, Australia Built: 1989 As the largest open-pit gold mine, the Faimiston Open Pit, commonly called the Super Pit, cuts an oblong shape out of Western …

Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine Owner: Hibbing Taconite Type of Mine: Iron Location: Minnesota, United States Built: 1893 At 8kms long, 3.2 kms wide and 180 meters deep the Mahoning mine began as an underground mine but with iron deposits so close to …

Toquepala

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Toquepala Owner: Southern Copper Corporation Type of Mine: Copper Location: Tacna, Peru Built: 1960 The Andes are home to some of the largest mines in the world.  Toquepala is roughly 700 meters deep and runs, at its widest, 2.5 kms …

Ekati Diamond Mine

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Ekati Diamond Mine Owner: BHP Billiton Type of Mine: Diamond Location: Northwest Territories, Canada Built: 1998 Located 300 kms away from Yellowknife, the Ekati diamond mine led to diamond's version of the gold rush.  Since the project's discovery in 1985, …

Kimberley Mine

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Kimberley Mine Owner: Da Beers Type of Mine: Diamond Location: Kimberley, South Africa Built: 1871 The name that this mine usually goes by, The Big Hole, leaves little to the imagination.  Cut 240 meters deep, Kimberly Mines is the largest …

Grasberg Mine

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Grasberg Mine Owner: Freeport-McMoRan Type of Mine: Copper, Gold Location: Papua, Indonesia Built: 1990 The largest gold mine and third largest copper mine in the world the the Grasberg mine has a turbulent past involving decades of expedition, rebel attacks …

Chuquicamata

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Chuquicamata Owner: CODELCO Type of Mine: Copper, Gold Location: Chile Built: 1882 When speaking about volume there is none larger than the Chuquicamata (Chuqui) mine in northern Chile.  Under state ownership since the Chilean nationalization of copper in the early …

Escondida

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Escondida Owner: Minera Escondida Type of Mine: Copper Location: Atacama Desert, Chile Built: 1990 Escondida produces the most copper annually than any other site in the world.  In 2007 Minera Escondida produced 1.5 million tons worth $10 billion dollars.  The …

Berkeley Pit

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Berkeley Pit Owner: Atlantic Richfield Company Type of Mine: Copper, Silver, Gold Location: Montana, United States Built: 1955 The Berkely Pit closed 30 years ago in 1982.  Since then, without water pumps running to keep shafts open, rainwater has filled …

Yuba Goldfields

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Yuba Goldfields Owner: Western Aggregate Type of Mine: Aggregate Location: Califronia, United States. Built: 1848 The Yuba Goldfields, located along the Yuba River in California, were formed during the Californian Gold rush (1848-55).  During its infancy miners panned in the …

Udachnaya Pipe

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Udachnaya Pipe Owner: Alrosa Type of Mine: Diamond Location: Sakha Republic, Russia Built: 1988 At 600 meters deep Udachnaya plunges lower than, though not nearly as wide as, Mir.  Discovered just days after Mir, the Udachnaya pipe is so remote …

Olympic Dam

Joshua Zapf | July 16, 2012

Olympic Dam Owner: BHP Billiton Type of Mine: Copper, Gold, Silver, Uranium Location: South Australia Built: 1988 While technically an underground mine, BHP Billiton has scheduled expansions to make this the largest open pit mine in the world; a far …