Monday, October 18, 2010

The Kennecott Copper Mine & The Great Salt Lake

Open Mining at the Kennecott(Chuck) Kennecott's Bingham Canyon Mine is a one of a kind when it comes to a list of superlatives.

It has produced more copper than any mine in history - about 18.7 million tons.The Kennecott Mine Pit

The mine is 2-3/4 miles across at the top and 3/4 of a mile deep.

You could stack two Sears Towers on top of each other and still not reach the top of the mine pit.

It can be seen by the space shuttle astronauts.

The largest shovel in the mine can scoop up 98 tons of rock with each shovel full.

The 70 trucks that haul the ore stand over 23 feet tall and can carry from 255 to 360 tons of rock. A full sized service truck following the huge Haul Trucks

Each tire on these big trucks costs from $18,000 to $26,000 and lasts just 9 months.

The crusher in the pit takes in about 140,000 tons of ore every day and grinds it into chunks smaller than the size of a basketball. Chuck with one of the tires from the haul trucks

At 1,215 feet tall, the Kennecott smokestack is the highest structure in Utah .

Also it produces 400,000 troy ounces of gold and 4 million troy ounces of silver every year.

We enjoyed the view from the visitor’s center which is situated on the edge of the pit. Visitors have a bird’s eye view of the operation which features more heavy equipment than I have ever seen in one place. It was a good day trip.

(Jan) As we were headed south on I15 we saw a police escort ahead of us for a BIG load of some kind. As we got closer we saw that it was a huge blade.  We’re thinking now that it was probably going to the Kennecott Mine.  It covered two full lanes going down the Interstate.

Jan at the Great Salt Lake The Great Salt Lake is the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere.  Because 4 rivers flow into the lake but none flow out and the water evaporates, it leaves an abundance of minerals and salt; 12 to 20% salinity depending on the literature you read.  We made a stop along the south west shore and found a very beautiful view. The lake surface and blue sky seemed to melt into each other at the horizon.

Yesterday we arrived at Cabela’s in Lehi, Utah and will make it our home again tonight.  We have a lovely place to park on a hill over looking the cities of Lehi and American Fork with Orem and the Utah Lake spread out in the distance.  The lights from the cities and the interstate are very pretty all around below us at night. A storm rolls in just before dark last night and brought with it a little wind and some rain but nothing too serious.Cabela's with a storm rolling in

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