With explosions and massive machines scraping into the earth’s crust like a bad case of scabies, its small wonder open cast mining has made what many see as an unpleasant impact on the planet’s surface. The face of the earth is beleaguered with giant scars, scoured out in our ongoing bid to the plunder the planet of its natural resources.
Here I have compiled some of the biggest hole mines in the world. I hope you will like it.
Kalgoorlie Super Pit
Kalgoorlie Super Pit is gigantic pockmark in Western Australia is continent’s largest open cut gold mine at 3.5 km long, 1.5 km wide and 360 m deep. It’s huge. And it’s growing. At least, that is, until 2017 when it is expected to cease being productive.
The Big Hole, South Africa
Another open pit whose name leaves little to the imagination, the Big Hole in Kimberly, South Africa, is said to be the largest hole excavated by hand. The Big Hole is 463 meters wide and was dug to a depth of 240 m. It’s now a show mine complete with a restored old town.
Diavik Diamond Mine
Diavik Diamond Mine is located in Canada. This is an open cast mine like no other. Gouged into a 20 square km island, there are particularly jaw-dropping views of this cold spot when the surrounding waters freeze over.
Connected by a treacherous ice road, this remote mine takes some getting to and so even has its own airport big enough to accommodate Boeing 747s. This yawning hole throws up 8 million carats of diamonds a year.
Ekati Diamond Mine, Canada
The Ekati Diamond Mine is North America’s first commercial diamond mine. It’s actually only a stone’s throw from the Diavic Mine just 20 km closer to the Arctic Circle.
Grasberg Mine, Indonesia
Opened in 1973, Indonesia’s Grasberg Mine is the world’s biggest gold mine and third largest copper mine.
Chuquicamata in Chile is a colossus of a mine that has churned up a record total of 29 million tons of copper. Despite almost 100 years of intensive exploitation, it remains among the largest known copper resources.
The Escondida Mine has yielded 1.48 million tons worth US$ 10.12 billion of copper in 2007. Escondida has become a key part of the Chilean economy and employs some 2,951 people directly.
Udachnaya Diamond Mine, Russia
The Udachnaya Mine in Russia is a gigantic open-pit diamond mine that plunges more than 600 meters into the earths crust.
Mirny Diamond Mine, Russia
The largest open diamond mine in the world, this Russian monster has a surface diameter of 1.2 km and is 525 m deep. The size of the hole is such that a wind current inside cause a downdraft that has resulted in helicopters being sucked in and crashing.