Kennecott Utah Copper-Bingham Canyon Mine – Herriman, Utah - Atlas Obscura

Herriman, Utah

Kennecott Utah Copper-Bingham Canyon Mine

Largest man-made excavation on earth! 

Standing at the overlook within the Bingham Canyon Mine, you can see, hear, and feel the breathtaking and awesome magnitude of the largest man-made excavation on earth. While you watch the action in the mine, a descriptive narration recorded in several languages explains the operations.

From the overlook, you can watch 240 and 320 ton capacity haulage trucks deliver copper ore to the in-pit crusher, where the material is reduced to the size of soccer balls before being loaded onto a five-mile conveyor that carries the ore to the Copperton Concentrator. Some curious facts about the mine include:

*Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine has produced more copper than any mine in history—about 18.1 million tons.

*The mine is 2-3/4 miles across at the top and 3/4 of a mile deep. You could stack two Sears Towers (now known as the Willis Building) on top of each other and still not reach the top of the mine.

*The mine is so big, it can be seen by the space shuttle astronauts as they pass over the United States.

*If you stretched out all the roads in the open pit mine, you’d have 500 miles of roadway—enough to reach from Salt Lake City to Denver.

Unfortunately, the Visitor’s Center closed until further notice after a landslide in the mine in April 2013. The landslide was so large that it triggered 16 small earthquakes. There is now a virtual Visitor’s Center at Kennecott’s website.

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