Top 10 Largest Mines in the World

Here we take a look at the worlds biggest mines

Mining is responsible for a large percentage for our coal and metal production. There are 4 different methods of mining such as open pit, underground, in-situ and placer. In this list we count down some of the biggest mines in size and production. 

10. Goldstrike Mine


The Goldstrike Mine based in Nevada, USA is the world's 10th largest mine. First began in 1986 the mine is responsible for over 44 million ounces of gold, and over 80 thousand ounces of silver. Goldstrike Mine is between 600ft and 200ft deep measuring a total of 12,000 ft in length.  

9. Carajás Mine


Based in Parà state, Brazil, this mine is responsible for the largest iron production in the world. The mine has produced an estimated 7.2 billion metric tons of iron, as well as gold, copper and nickel. The open pit mine was first started in 1995 and has just launched its own self driving trucks.

8. Oyu Tolgoi


Originally discovered in 2001, the Oyu Tolgoi mine is based in Mongolia. It is an underground and open pit combined mine, which specialises in copper production. On a yearly basis the mine is responsible for producing around 450,00 tons of copper, it has also produced a total of 1.7 million ounces of gold. Some parts of the Oyu Tolgoi are up to 466 metres deep.

7. El Teniente


The El Teniente mine first began operation in 1906, and is located in Chile. This is the largest underground mine in the world, covering around 3,000 kilometres of drifts. This mine is still in operation and is the world's biggest copper mine with over 4000 workers. El Teniente is expected to produce 500,000 tonnes of copper every year. 

6. Mirny Mine 


This open pit mine first began in 1957 and specialises in diamond mining. The mine is based in Siberia, Russia and is one of the biggest excavated pits in the world. Mirny mine measures 1.25 kilometres in length and 525 metres in depth, the mine produces around 2000 kilograms of diamonds annually. 

5. Grasberg Mine 


Grasberg Mine is based in Indonesia and produces copper, silver and gold. The mine was first discovered in 1936 and work first began in 1973. Grasberg mine covers approximately 27,400 acre area, and has 19,500 employees. During 2016 the Grasberg Mine produced 482,000,000 kilograms of copper.

4. Kiruna Mine 


Kiruna Mine is known for being a modern underground mine. Located in Sweden the mine specialises in iron production, and during 2018 produced 26.9 million tonnes. Kiruna Mine first opened in 1898 and during 2004 the mine began a gradual relocation. 

3. Chuquicamata Mine 


The Chuquicamata Mine located in Chile, is the biggest open pit copper mine in the world. It is also the second deepest open pit mine measuring 850 metres. The mine was first established in 1952 and produces roughly 5% of the world's metal.

2. Garzweiler Mine 


Located in Germany, Garzweiler is a surface mine which produces lignite. The mine is around 48 kilometres squared in size. The mine was originally in a different location but was moved to Jüchen. Garzweiler Mine produces 35 million tonnes of brown coal every year, and has 1400 employees.

1. Bingham Canyon Mine 


Bingham Canyon Mine is the biggest mine in the world. It is an open pit mine based in the state of Utah, USA and is known for its copper production. The mine itself is estimated to hold around 19 million tons of copper across the 1900 acres of land. Bingham Canyon Mine is 1200 metres deep and has 2500 employees in total. 25% of the copper in the US is produced by Bingham Canyon Mine.



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