What happens to the big or even smalls mines we now see providing tonnes and tonnes of ore when their precious metals end?
The workers leave and the sites stay abandoned for decades. Here’s a collection of some amazing inactive and abandoned mines.
1. Organ Mountains
Located in New Mexico (USA), this huge mine was established as a mining camp before the American Civil War. The community around it was created in 1883. Today, the mine is abandoned, but the community still remains at the site.
2. Siberian mine
The natural formations inside this abandoned Siberian mine, in Russia, are amazing. The mine was the place where several political prisoners of the Russian regime worked to earn their freedom.
3. MacDonald mine
This mine, located in the Bancroft area (Canada), is no longer accessible to visitors since the underground workings were closed in June of this year. No gold mining equipment was left behind.
4. Aouli mine
This is the abandoned lead mine of Aouli, in the Moulouya canyon, in Morocco. This place is located in a remote region of the Atlas mountain and operated from 1936 to 1980.
5. Oranjemund mine
Oranjemund mine, in Namibia, is considered the largest diamond mine vehicle graveyard on the planet. Once a machine has been used for mining in the pit managed by the company De beers, it never leaves the mine again.
6. Kennecott mine
This abandoned copper mine is located in Alaska (USA), in the Valdez-Cordova Census Area. After its shutdown, the camp and mines were considered a National Historic Landmark District, now administered by the National Park Service.
7. Reed mine
This is an historic place. Reed mine – located in the Cabarrus county, North Carolina – is the site of the first documented and official gold mine in the United States. Currently, the pit is deactivated and now a abandoned mine.
8. Turda mine
This abandoned salt mine in Romania is situated in the Salina Praid, Harghita county. This mine can be found on the east coast of the Transylvanian basin and has a long history that can be traced back to the middle ages, back when the Romans exploited salt.
9. Tintic mill
The Tintic Standard Reduction Mill was built in 1920. It’s an abandoned refinery near 1925, located near Goshen, Utah (USA). The metals processed at the mill included copper, gold, silver and lead.
The currently abandoned Stratton’s Independence mine and mill is a historic gold deposit near Victor, Colorado (USA). Just between late 1893 and April 1899, the mine provided almost 200,000 ounces of gold.
11. Big Hole
The Big Hole is an open-pit and also underground diamond mine located in Kimberley, South Africa. It’s considered the largest hole excavated by man.
12. White calcite mine
This abandoned mine somewhere in Russia shows what happens to the deposits after they are abandoned: white calcite starts forming and taking over the mine.
13. Island copper mine
The Island copper mine, located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia (Canada), functioned from 1970 to 2000. This deposit was Canada’s third largest copper mine and produced copper, gold, silver, molybdenum and a by-product called Rhenium. When the mine closed, more than one billion tons of material had been moved, leaving the deepest excavated depression below sea-level on Earth. The pit was flooded in 1996 creating the highest temporary salt water waterfall in the world.
14. Polaris mine
The Polaris mine was the name of the huge underground zinc mine located on Little Cornwallis Island, in the Canadian northern territory of Nunavut, near the Arctic Circle. The mine starting opened in 1981 and closed in 2002, after more than 20 years of zinc production and is now abandoned.
15. This abandoned mine in Russia looks like a level on Tomb Raider.