Batu Hijau Gold Mine, Indonesia
Newmont Mining Corporation's Batu Hijau gold-mining operation on the island of Sumbawa in Indonesia. Tailings from the mine area being dumped in the ocean at Senunu Bay.
Superior Mine, Arizona - Storage Simulation
Simulations showing proposed wasterock storage piles for Superior Mine. Based on 11-03-2011 diagrams and cross sections by Golder Associates for Resolution Copper Mining, obtained through the Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality. Gallery created 1/3/2012.
Valle Vidal Subdivision
Hypothetical subdivision in the spectacular Valle Vidal unit of Carson National Forest, northeast New Mexico, on public lands that could be "patented" for mining and then potentially sold for development or other non-mining use. See www.earthworksaction.org/pombo.cfm for more information (11/04/2005).
Tulsequah Chief Mine, British Columbia
Satellite images showing the route of the proposed haul road to be built from the town of Atlin to the Tulsequah Chief gold-silver mine along the Taku River in British Columbia, near the Alaska border.
UPDATE received 12/31/2014 from Tony Pearse, a resource planner specializing in planning and policy development for First Nations in areas related to treaty negotiation and land use: "The access road never got built, and the plan has been shelved. Chieftain spent its money on feasibility studies, surveys, drilling, but never really started construction of the project. Their environmental approval was set to expire in December 2012, which it must do if the Minister does not otherwise make a determination that the project is 'substantially started'. The company requested such a determination, and the Minister made it, which means the environmental approval lasts for however long it takes to complete the project. But, the Taku River Tlingit First Nation successfully challenged the determination in court.
The Court found that the Minister had not properly consulted the TRT and that there was credible evidence that the Minister (actually, deputy minister) did not have all the relevant information in front of him when he made the 'substantially started' determination.
The court ordered the minister to reconsider the decision after receiving additional input from both TRT and Chieftain. Those submissions have been made, and we are now waiting to hear the 'reconsidered' decision from the minister... any day now.
In the meantime, a new feasibility study by Chieftain has resulted in a revamped proposal that drops the access road option in favour of conventional shallow-draft barging on a seasonal basis hauling concentrate downriver from the mine to Juneau."
Images depicting the site and mine plan for the proposed Rosemont Ranch mine, an open-pit Copper-Silver-Molybdenum mine in the Santa Rita Mountains of Arizona, about 30 miles southeast of Tucson in the Coronado National Forest.
The most recent maps and images in this collection are based on the mine plan taken from a schematic diagram published by Augusta Resources in February 2008, available on the official government Environmental Impact Statement website.
Learn more at the Arizona Mining Reform Coalition and at the Augusta Resources website.
Latest update 1/17/12.
Junin Mine, Intag River Region, Ecuador
Gold Bear Mine
Pebble Mine, Alaska
Pebble is a proposed open-pit copper/gold mine located in southwest Alaska, near Lake Iliamna, within the watershed of Bristol Bay. Environmental, fishing and sportsmen's groups are concerned about the impact mining in this region could have on Alaska's wild salmon fishery, an industry worth $4-5 million annually to the Alaskan economy. Watch a short trailer for the award-winning documentary film Red Gold, and visit Ground Truth Trekking for maps and photos showing the area where the Pebble mine will be built if the state of Alaska approves the mine.
Pebble will be North America's biggest open-pit gold mine if it's built. The larger of the two huge tailings impoundments will be held back by a 700' tall earth-and-rock-filled dam almost four miles long - the largest dam in the world, ultimately holding back a slurry of tailings nearly 700' deep that covers more than 6 square miles. (For comparison, China's Three Gorges Dam is 607' high and 7,575' long.) Like most of Alaska, this area is known to be seismically active.
This gallery contains maps and images showing the latest plan for the Pebble mine, based on permit applications filed by Northern Dynasty Minerals with the State of Alaska in the summer of 2006. To convey a sense of the scale of this proposed mine, we've superimposed the mine plan on the city of Seattle.
This plan, however, grossly underrepresents the amount of tailings and waste rock that would be generated if public statements made by NDM of the economically recoverable resource - 10.78 billion tons of ore - are accurate. This recovery scenario would likely involve block-cave underground mining east of the main open pit, and would generate a total of 13.5 billion cubic yards of waste. Based on the terrain and locations of other potential disposal sites evaluated by NDM, we've added two massive tailings impoundments to hold the additional 10.2 billion cubic yards of waste that would be generated. To give you a feel for the sheer size of this potential mining complex, we've superimposed this revised plan on Seattle and Anchorage.
Another option NDM considered in their permit application, but has not requested approval of, is dumping the tailings and reactive wasterock directly into Lake Iliamna.
Ghana - Gold Mining
Images of gold mines in Ghana, including the Ahafo open-pit mine operated by Newmont Mining Corporation headquartered near Denver, Colorado.
Fort Knox Mine, Alaska
Images of the Fort Knox open-pit gold mine north of Fairbanks, Alaska. In 2007 the mine won approval to add a cyanide heap-leach process to the site. See closeup photos of the site here. Learn more about the use of cyanide in gold mining here.
Iron County, Utah
Images of mining impacts near the town of Iron Springs in Iron County, Utah. Huh, must be some iron around these parts. There is new mining activity as well as old. Fun for the entire family!
Spor Mountain, Utah
Images of the mining operations at Spor Mountain, Utah, for beryllium, uranium and fluorospar. Click here for more information about these mineral deposits, including a slideshow from the US Geological Survey.
Grasberg Copper-Gold Mine, Irian Jaya
Satellite images showing downstream impacts from mining operations at the giant Grasberg open-pit gold/copper mine in Irian Jaya, Indonesia, operated by Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, Inc. of New Orleans. Tailings from the open pit in the mountains are dumped into the Aghawagon, Otomona and Ajkwa rivers, ultimately discharging into the Arafura Sea. When these rivers reach the flat lowland rainforest they slow down, depositing the tailings across the floodplain, inundating a growing area with rock and mud and killing most of the vegetation. This impact is plain to see on satellite imagery.
To view a spectacular photo of the pit, shot from the rim, click here.
Berkeley Pit, Butte, Montana
The Berkeley Pit copper-gold mine in Butte, Montana. The old mine workings, abandoned in 1982, are now flooded with water having a highly acidic pH of 2.5 and laden with toxic metals and sulfuric acid. The flooded pit measures 7,400 feet across, is almost 1,800 feet deep, and covers more than 600 acres.
Morro do Ouro Gold Mine, Paracatu, Brazil
Vertical and panoramic views of the Morro do Ouro ("Mountain of Gold") gold mining operation in the town of Paracatu, Minas Gerais state, eastern Brazil. The mine is operated by Canada-based Kinross Gold Corporation. Mining takes place very close to residential areas in this town of 90,000. A major expansion of the mine is underway.
Various - Hardrock Mining
Miscellaneous images showing hardrock mining operations around the world.
Phosphate mining in southeastern Idaho is responsible for a cluster of Superfund toxic-waste cleanup sites. Mining has released dangerous amounts of selenium to streams and springs, poisoning livestock and posing a serious public health threat to nearby residents and downstream water users. Most recently, operators of the Smoky Canyon Mine have applied for permits to expand that mining operation, which has already caused acute selenium contamination.
For more information:
Greater Yellowstone Coalition web page on Smoky Canyon and phosphate mining
Greater Yellowstone Coalition map of Idaho Superfund sites related to phosphate mining (PDF file)
Seattle Times article on Smoky Canyon (April 7, 2009, "Environmentalists ask to halt ID mine expansion ")
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's web page for Idaho mine-related cleanup action
SkyTruth's Google Earth file for Idaho phosphate mines and Superfund sites
Kensington Gold Mine, Alaska
Aerial photos showing Lower Slate Lake near Berner's Bay in southeast Alaska. This lake would be buried under tailings from the nearby Kensington gold mine under a plan put forward by the mine owner. This controversial plan is currently (January 2009) being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court (read about it here: www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/448640.html). See SkyTruth satellite images and maps of the mine at skytruth.mediatools.org/gallery/415. Download a KMZ file to take a 3-d virtual tour of the area using Google Earth: skytruth.mediatools.org/node/9524
Cerro de Pasco Mine, Peru
Images showing the active zinc-lead-silver mine within the city of Cerro de Pasco, Peru.
Mount Tenabo, Nevada - Cortez Hills Gold Mine
Images showing the Mount Tenabo area in Nevada, proposed site of the Cortez Hills gold mine, a 2,000-foot-deep open-pit gold mine that would use cyanide heap-leaching to extract gold from the ore. Barrick Gold Corporation has already begun construction activity. The area is considered sacred to the Western Shoshone tribe. Read more about it and visit Earthworks to take action. Images prepared by SkyTruth.
UPDATE 12/3/09: Today a federal appeals court temporarily blocked further construction by Barrick Gold Corp. on their Cortez Hills mine at Mount Tenabo, claiming the "U.S. Bureau of Land Management failed to adequately analyze the potential for the mine on Mount Tenabo to pollute the air with mercury emissions and dry up scarce water resources." This ruling will suspend activity at the mine site until the BLM revises its environmental analysis.