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Mine Sites: 6 Jaw Dropping Aerial Images You Have to See

Mining is crucial to our everyday way of life. It not only provides essential materials needed to power our civilization, but its a major supporter to o...

|Feb 26|magazine13 min read

Mining is crucial to our everyday way of life. It not only provides essential materials needed to power our civilization, but it’s a major supporter to our economy and job creation.

• [SLIDESHOW] The 5 Deadliest Minerals Ever Mined

• 6 Things You Didn't Know About the Mining Industry

We take you on an aerial journey through the world’s most fascinating and significant mining operations.

Potash Extraction Facility (Utah, USA)

Located 20 miles west of Moab, Utah, this Potash mine began in 1964 as an underground excavation until it was converted in 1970 to a solar evaporation system. The mine produces roughly 700-1,000 tons of Potash per day.

The electric blue coloring of the evaporation ponds is due to the dye used to absorb and retain heat from the sun.

Diavik Diamond Mine (Northwest Territories, CA)

One of the most fascinating mining sites in all of Canada is the Diavik Diamond Mine. Located on an island in the middle of Lac de Gras, the mine is primarily accessible by air with a seasonal winter road available for only two months of the year. During the seasons, the diamond mine will turn from blue and green tranquility in the summer to a barren ice desert in the winter.

The Diavik Diamond mine produces approximately eight million carats per year.

Soquimich Lithium Mine (Chile)

Located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, the Soquimich Lithium mine looks more like colorful textiles than an actual mining site. The aerial image displays the beautiful colors of the brine pools and processing areas of the lithium mine on the Atacama salt flat, the world’s second largest salt flat.

Bingham Canyon Mine (Utah, USA)

The title for world’s largest excavated hole belongs to Rio Tinto’s Bingham Canyon Mine, otherwise known as Kennecott Copper Mine. Since 1906, the mine has produced more than 19 million tons of copper, including millions of ounces of gold, silver, and molybdenum.

Garzweiler Surface Mine (North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany)

Straight out of a Transformer movie, the Garzweiler Surface mine in Germany is one of the biggest mining operations on the face of the Earth. The mine site, which resembles a dystopian future, is located in North-Rhine Westphalia and the inspiration behind the Bagger 288 – a mega machine with the ability of excavating 240,000 tons of ground a day. 

Mir Mine (Mirny, Russia)

The Mir Diamond mine is the world’s second-largest excavated hole. Located in Mirny, Eastern Siberia, Russia, the former open pit diamond mine is an astonishing 1,722 feet deep, and 3,900 feet in diameter.  

The history of the Mir mine has reached mythical proportion. The airspace above the mine is restricted due to alleged incidents of helicopters falling from the sky because of air temperature differences and unexpected current.