Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bingham Copper Mine

This post is a little out of order but it's the next one ready to post. I'm still prepping a couple other posts from last week that likely won't get done until we get home from Utah next week. Yesterday we went to the Bingham Copper Mine on the southwest side of the Salt Lake Valley. You've probably noticed the mountain from a distance because it looks bare and there is no peak. That's because it's a giant open pit copper mine. They like to say it is one of two man made objects visible from space.

You can pay $5 to drive up the the mine a little bit to the visitor center, take a look inside the mine and learn about the copper mining process. It's actually pretty cool to learn about and to see the giant equipment they use. The day we went it was windy! My mom was afraid Julia was going to blow away, and I took off her hat because it probably would have blown away right down in to the mine.This is the wheel from one of the dump trucks. They are massive and can carry up to 320 tons per load. The ore deposit is a low-grade deposit, so to be profitable they have to mine at large scale. And they do, the mine produces 20% of our country's copper and has produced 19 million tons of copper in it's history, more than any other copper mine. The mine. It's 2 3/4 mile across at the top and 3/4 mile deep. You can see one of the big dump trucks on the lower right side of the picture. It looks small here, but trust me, it's big.
Post a Comment