Salt Lake City, Kennecotts Mining 7-13-01
On Saturday Kris & her husband Eric and daughter Kimmy took me to Kennecotts Bingham Canyon Mine, the worlds largest man-made excavation. That was really fascinating. This mine is one of two man-
made objects on earth that can be seen by astronauts from outer space. The other is the Great Wall of China. The mine is more than 3/4
of a mile deep and 2.5 miles wide. The Sears Tower, at 1,454 ft tall, would only reach halfway up the mine.
When Daniel Jacklings Utah Copper Co. and rival Boston Consolidated Mining Co. began hauling ore that contained only 2% copper from Bingham Canyon, they were ridiculed by mining men of the era who thought they could never make a profit mining such low grade ore.
More copper has been produced by Bingham Canyon than any mine in history. Over 6 billion tons of material have been removed since open-
pit operations began in 1906. Bingham Canyon has been called "The Richest Hole On Earth."
Over 2/3 of all Utah mineral production has come from this mine. During WWII this mine produced over 1/3 of the copper used by the Allies. Bingham Canyon has yielded more than 16 million tons of copper, 21 million ounces of gold, 185 million ounces of silver and 740 million pounds of molybdenum.
Approx 500,000 tons of material are removed daily (about 1/3 is ore.)
It takes a ton of ore to produce 12 lbs of copper. Approx 310,000 tons of refined copper are produced annually, plus significant quantities of gold, silver and molybdenum.
We viewed the pit, saw the visitors center and watched a film. The big trucks & machinery looked tiny from where we were. The bucket on an electric shovel was a 98 ton capacity & loaded it onto trucks with 255 to 360 ton capacity. The trucks are ENORMOUSLY HUGE. The 6 tires on each truck were 40,000R57 steel belted radial tubeless. They were 11'8" high, with a tread width of 44" and a rim size of 57". The approx weight of one tire was 8,000 lbs and the tire pressure was 105 lbs per sq inch. Each tire lasted about 1 yr (50,000 miles) and cost $20,000!
After that we drove over to see the Great Salt Lake. Its the lgst lake west of the Mississippi, covering 2,100 sq miles with an avg depth of 13 ft. The deepest point is 34 ft. Only the Dead Sea has a higher salt content than the Great Salt Lake. The lakes salinity varies, but it's
been as high as 27%! And yes, you really do float in the Great Salt Lake!
Saturday evening I went to Alan & Wanda Akers house. She's also a board member. On sunday we drove to Park City to do some shopping & sight seeing. Park City is a rustic ski resort town with a lot of neat shops to browse in. It's also where the skiing events for the 2002 Olympics will be held.
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