open pit copper mine

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

Was told by guide it's the largest low yield open pit mine in the world (means there are bigger high yield open pit mines e.g Butte, Montana or Chile). It seems Chuquicamata, or "Chuqui" as it is more familiarly known, is by excavated volume the biggest open pit copper mine in the world, located in the north of Chile, just outside of Calama, 215 km northeast of Antofagasta and 1,240 km north of the capital, Santiago. The mine is owned and operated by Codelco, a Chilean state enterprise, since the Chilean nationalization of copper in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Its depth of 850 metres (2,790 ft) makes it the second deepest open-pit mine in the world (after Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah, USA).

For many years it was the mine with the largest annual production in the world but was recently overtaken by Minera Escondida. Nevertheless it remains the mine with by far the largest total production of approximately 29 million tonnes of copper to the end of 2007 (excluding Radomiro Tomić).Despite over 90 years of intensive exploitation it remains one of the largest known copper resources. Its open pit is the world's largest at 4.3 km long, 3 km wide and over 900 m deep and its smelter and electrolytic refinery (855,000 tonnes p.a.) are amongst the world's largest. Chuquicamata is also a significant producer of molybdenum.

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Comments (25)

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Ghiocela on August 21, 2012

Very impressive place..! I like! ..:) Bye, Simona

Scorched Earth Photo… on August 22, 2012

That's a mighty big hole in the ground Itallica - I worked in an open pit coal mine for 20 years as an engineer and supervisor - if there wasn't a demand for the product , wouldn't be any mining ! ( The same goes for the drug trade ) .

Itallica on August 22, 2012

Thank yu dear Simona

Howdy SEP there are seven pits; three have been reclaimed; one is being unreclaimed, another is being expanded and this one is going down.

Sławek K. on August 22, 2012

Beautiful place!! Great shot! Like! Greetings from Ukraine

Itallica on August 22, 2012

Thank yu for the comments Waclaw

Cheers, tery

Keisuke Togawa / Man… on August 23, 2012

After having dug it?

Itallica on August 23, 2012

Manda maybe a trout pond or place for Greek theatre.

Keisuke Togawa / Man… on August 23, 2012

Good idea!!!

Omar Gobbi on August 24, 2012

Great photography, a very beautiful scene, <LIKE>, best regards, "Omar"

Itallica on August 25, 2012

Greetings Manda

Thank yu Omar.

Cheers, tery

Ivan Logvinov on August 25, 2012

What a fantastic landscape!
Warm greetings from Russia!

Itallica on August 25, 2012

Thank yu Ivan

Cindy Breen on August 25, 2012

Nice one

They say our boom over here might go bust...Marion

Itallica on August 25, 2012

Thank yu Marion

Bust doesnt sound good. Everyone soon to follow :[

javad aleali on August 29, 2012

Nice view


Itallica on August 29, 2012

thank yu Javad

Paolo “Canpao” Canna… on August 31, 2012

Beautiful shot and interesting open pit copper mine.L 8. Have a nicxe weekend, Canpao

Itallica on August 31, 2012

Grazie Canpao

caio, tery

dana ciszewska on September 2, 2012

This is what we've got in the south of Poland.L.Dana

Itallica on September 2, 2012

Hi Dana

Are they also mining copper there?

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on August 21, 2012
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Itallica
    • Camera: Panasonic DMC-ZS7
    • Taken on 2012/08/20 13:52:15
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/400)
    • Focal Length: 7.90mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.500
    • ISO Speed: ISO80
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash