Quick Answer: How Deep Are Open Pit Mines?

Is open pit mining safe?

Open-pit mining is much safer than shaft mining.

In underground mining, the threat of a cave-in or release of toxic gas is a constant concern.

When shaft mining was the most common method of ore extraction, thousands died in cave-ins, gas events and accidents involving equipment..

Why is mining so dangerous?

Mines are often home to many dangerous gases including carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, and carbon dioxide. Due to the confined spaces, these gases are not always able to escape, building up within the mine. And due to their combustible, explosive, or toxic qualities, this is a very serious issue.

How deep are open cut mines?

Bingham Canyon mine located south-west of Salt Lake City, Utah, US, is the deepest open pit mine in the world. The Bingham Canyon pit is more than 1.2km deep and approximately four kilometres wide. The mine, which is owned and operated by Rio Tinto Kennecott, has been in production since 1906.

How deep is the Bingham Canyon mine?

The Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world, measuring more than 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) wide and 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) deep. Located about 30 kilometers (18 miles) southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, the mine is a major producer of copper, gold, silver, and molybednum.

How do you start an open pit mine?

To create an open-pit mine, the miners must determine the information of the ore that is underground. This is done through drilling of probe holes in the ground, then plotting each hole location on a map. The information gained through the holes with provide an idea of the vertical extent of the ore’s body.

How does open pit mining affect the environment?

Mining is widely regarded as having adverse effects on environment of both magnitude and diversity. Some of these effects include erosion, formation of sinkhole, biodiversity loss and contamination of groundwater by chemical from the mining process in general and open-pit mining in particular.

Why is open cut mining better than underground mining?

After the mineral deposits have been exposed, the area is drilled, fractured and the mineral extracted. This method has a high recovery rate when compared to the underground, as 90 percent of mineral deposits are recovered. Overall when compared to other methods, open-cut is much safer.

Why is open pit mining bad?

This type of mining is particularly damaging to the environment because strategic minerals are often only available in small concentrations, which increases the amount of ore needed to be mined. Environmental hazards are present during every step of the open-pit mining process.

What are the effects of open pit mining?

The effects of open-pit mining and mineral processing plants on the environment include land degradation, noise, dust, poisonous gases, pollution of water, etc. (Dudka and Adriano 1997).

What is the deepest mine in the world?

Mponeng gold mineAngloGold Ashanti’s Mponeng gold mine, located south-west of Johannesburg in South Africa, is currently the deepest mine in the world. The operating depth at Mponeng mine ranged from between 3.16km to 3.84km below the surface by the end of 2018.

How long does it take to open a mine?

This study usually takes up to one year, but can be longer. Overall, the start-up phase for a mine, from exploration and property development to first mine production, may take in excess of 10 years.

How long does it take to build a mine shaft?

In summary, building a mine takes a long time from discovery to mining the deposit, usually 10 years or more with a huge amount of capital invested by many investors from the high-risk exploration stage through feasibility to building the mine.

Where is the biggest pit in the world?

Bingham Canyon MineThe Bingham Canyon Mine holds the coveted title of “Biggest Pit in the World” — and it is a major tourist draw.

What is the biggest copper mine in the world?

Escondida copper mineEscondida copper mine in the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile is currently the world’s largest copper mine by reserve. The mine contained more than 32 million tonnes (Mt) of recoverable copper reserves at the end of 2012.

What does open cut mining mine?

Open Cut. Open cut (or open pit) mining involves digging and/or drilling and blasting to remove the resource or ore for processing. Often there is ‘overburden’ or waste rock material, which has to be removed before the actual resource can be mined. Open cut is sometimes referred to as ‘strip mining’.

How big is an open pit mine?

Open-pit Mining Operations Open-pit mines are dug on benches that are between four and sixty-meters in size, depending on the size of machinery used to excavate.

Which is more dangerous underground or open pit mining?

Every mining site has its natural and man-made characteristics that make it unique. … Underground operations usually cause many more difficulties than normally occur in open pit mines, but without constant supervision and strong safeguards, either type of mine can be dangerous for workers.

What are the disadvantages of open pit mining?

4. Disadvantages of open pit miningVery large amounts of waste rock are mined. … Major disruption of surface: pit footprint, waste dumps. … Very large volumes of overburden may need to be moved before reaching the orebody (e.g. coal) thus delaying return on capital expenditure;More items…