The Bingham Canyon Mine outside of Salt Lake City, Utah is the largest mine in the world. It is 2.5 miles wide and .75 of a mile deep. The pit itself was once part of a the surrounding mountain range. Each day, 450 tons of copper ore are removed from the site.
Virginia is undergoing some of the most extreme mountain top removal mining in the US. The town of Appalachia has been devastated by coal mining, and the Spruce No. 1 mine, also located in Virginia, is one of the largest mountain top removal mines in the world. Due to its enormous size and impact on local environment, it has been hotly debated by the federal government. The project was approved by the Bush Administration, but is now being re-examined by the Obama Administration for its obvious violation of the Clean Water Act. Though it may expand in the future, here is a photo of what it already looks like today:
[img_assist|nid=204041|title=Mountain top removal mining|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=480]
The citation for hottnez.com says Bingham Canyon has produced more copper than any other mine, but this is not true, neither cumulatively nor on a current annual basis. Bingham Canyon has produced about 18 million tons of copper but Chuquicamata in Chile has produced more than 29 million tons. Also Chuquicamata is larger in some dimensions than the Bingham Canyon pit. At least two mines, Chuquicamata and Escondida, produce more copper annually than Bingham Canyon. And while Bingham Canyon is certainly a scar on the landscape, it is not a mountain-top removal mine in the modern sense as usually applied to coal mines; it is really on the flank of the mountains.
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