This giant man-made canyon is vis­i­ble to the naked eye even from Earth orbit, with­out any addi­tion­al equip­ment. Indeed, a hole 4 kilo­me­ters wide is very dif­fi­cult to miss — it clear­ly stands out on the body of the Earth.


Entry relat­ed to loca­tion: USA

Called Bing­ham Canyon, this is the largest man-made exca­va­tion on the sur­face of our plan­et. The canyon is locat­ed south­west of Salt Lake City in Utah, and the neigh­bor­ing Oquirr Moun­tains make it appear even deep­er and more expan­sive in com­par­i­son.

This is an open pit cop­per mine that plays a major role in the Amer­i­can econ­o­my. In a good year for the min­ing indus­try, it still brings in bil­lions of dol­lars for the coun­try. This source of wealth has been work­ing and ben­e­fit­ing since 1906. Now Bing­ham is also a Nation­al His­toric Land­mark, one of the most unusu­al in Amer­i­ca.

A well-known min­ing com­pa­ny called Rio Tin­to man­ages Bing­ham, con­stant­ly mon­i­tor­ing the con­di­tion of the quar­ry. Their experts can pre­dict land­slides long before they hap­pen. As a result, they all passed per­fect­ly safe for work­ers and equip­ment, even when there was the largest land­slide in North Amer­i­ca (in April of last year). This event was due to a 5.1 mag­ni­tude earth­quake and cut pro­duc­tion by 100,000 tons.

But there is still a huge demand for cop­per today, because this met­al affects pret­ty much every aspect of our lives: telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, elec­tric­i­ty, pipelines, agri­cul­ture. All of these and many oth­er indus­tries are high­ly depen­dent on cop­per pro­duc­tion. For this rea­son, Rio Tin­to decid­ed to move the cop­per min­ing under­ground. The arti­fi­cial Bing­ham Canyon, 1 kilo­me­ter deep and 4 kilo­me­ters wide, will remain as a mon­u­ment, cov­er­ing an area of ​​1,900 acres. But beneath it, a new mine of colos­sal pro­por­tions will be formed, capa­ble of swal­low­ing up a small city.

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