I’ve always known it as Kennecott Copper Mine, an alliteration only matched by Kennecott Copper Corporation and Utah Copper Corporation at Copperton.
Tongue twisters aside, this pit is ENORMOUS. Dump trucks built for a giant’s playthings trundle down into the 0.75 mile-deep hole in order to excavate (still) “450,000 short tons (400,000 long tons; 410,000 t) of material” daily (Wikipedia). DAILY!
Back when I was a child, I went to the visitor’s center with a day care class. I remember being able to fit our group into a tire from one of those dump trucks they had on display, and remember the fear of standing so near the edge of so deep a drop.
Kevin and I took our boys there a while back. We watched an interesting video about mineral extraction and processing. Like, did you know Bingham Canyon Mine is a ginormous pit because the copper exists as porphyry copper deposits? They have to dig up the dirt, sift through it, burn it, chemical it, burn it again, and send it off to buyers.
At the end, they have 99.99-percent-pure copper. They also have gold, silver, molybdenum, and by-product sulfuric acid. I’ve never learned so much about metallurgy in my life!
Like with all manufacturing, however, mine operations have not been great for the environment. Sifting ponds, runoff, and waste materials have contaminated the Salt Lake Valley’s groundwater. Chemicals released from processing damaged the health of nearby residents, historically. And, it’s kind-of difficult to ignore the fact that they’ve literally changed the landscape of that area -not just with the pit, but with what was in the pit:
What’s not to love about industry, right?
Seriously, though, the Kennecott Copper Mine is worth a gander if you’ve the time. It’s a short, 36-minute drive from Salt Lake International Airport to the visitor center. We went before they had a landslide in 2013; you can purchase interesting rocks!
On that note, here are the things I posted over the last week:
Wednesday, October 7: “Tour of Utah: Jordan River Parkway.” If you need some exercise, try it out.
Thursday, October 8: Wrote a sample poem for the A Mused Contest, “EH?“
Saturday, October 10: Start of this week’s A Mused Poetry Contest! Send the over-proud hero plummeting with poetry!
Monday, October 12: Responded to Carrot Ranch’s prompt in “A Dark and Stormy Man.”
Shared a quote by Joyce Meyer. Cactus hurt.
Tuesday, September 13: “Saint John City, Part 1.”
©2020 Chel Owens