As we have shown largely with airports in former city-lines posts (Europe Airports, North America Airports, Asia-Australia Airports, South America-Africa-Middle East Airports, UK Airports, does the size really matter?), we are really concerned with the impact of infrastructures in land occupancy. We really think that soil consumption impact is a very important variable that is not really taken in consideration when we try to develop territories.
In this serie of posts I just want to show another human activity that impacts heavily in soil consumption and that is directly related with human development that is: mines and natural resources. With the tools I have it is nearly impossible to study underground mines, so I have only measured and worked in some open pit mines. I think that it is a good approach to understand the impact of mining activity.
As I have been developing this new study I have understood that my initial idea was faraway of mines reality. I will explain my opinion through this Open Pit Mines set of posts, but first of all I just want to show you some images about soil consumption of the largest open pit mines. As you can see from the orthoimages, there are some awesome examples of Open Pit Mines:
Bingham Canyon Mine; extracts Copper, gold, silver & molybdenum (USA): 3.580 Ha
Chuquicamata Mine; EXTRACTS Copper (CHILE): 11.100 Ha
Diavik Mine; EXTRACTS DIAMOND (CANADA): 933 Ha
Ekati Mine; EXTRACTS DIAMOND (CANADA): 4.520 ha
Escondida Mine; EXTRACTS COPPER (CHILE): 14.700 HA
Grasberg Mine; EXTRACTS COPPER & GOLD (INDONESIA): 3.250 ha
Hull-Rust-Mahoning Mine; EXTRACTS IRON (USA): 10.900 Ha
Mir Mine; EXTRACTS DIAMOND (RUSSIA): 1.240 Ha
Olympic Dam Mine; EXTRACTS COPPER, GOLD, SILVER & URANIUM (AUSTRALIA): 3.450 Ha
The Kalgoorlie Super Pit Mine; EXTRACTS GOLD (AUSTRALIA): 3.260 Ha
Toquepala Mine; EXTRACTS COPPER (PERU): 4.990 Ha
Udachnaya Pipe Mine; EXTRACTS DIAMOND (RUSSIA): 5.360 Ha
You have seen a first example of the real magnitude of mining activity. You can see that they have a huge impact into the environment that surraounds them. In following posts I will talk about what these huge infrastructures represent to economic activity and to soil consumption, and the most important, how I had to face the study of mines because the lack of information.