Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Friday, July 22, 2011

Getting Out

This writing business is solitary. So is editing. Working alone, me and my laptop, day after day. Not that I'm complaining, I love the work but sometimes you just have to get out! Near our home is the Kennecott Copper Mine, the largest man- made excavation in the world, large enough to be seen from outer space. This photo gives just a small sense of how massive it is. Sorry I wasn't able to turn it around for you.




 Last week they had free tours, so a few of our family went up to take a look. Here we are riding the bus up the mountainside, on the way to the visitor's center at the top, where we can look into the excavation. The two shots below were taken on the ride up, showing the work that is happening all along the mountainside.





(The problem with being the photographer is that you're not in the picture. Bwa ha ha.)





Here they are standing in front of a twelve -foot tall tire that goes on a 250 ton capacity truck used to haul ore and rock out of the excavation to the crushing mill. (Note: The two men are 6 ' tall) One of these tires costs $21,000 and lasts one year. There are six tires per truck. See those little specks in the top photos? Those are the loading trucks, seen from a distance.

A few interesting facts about the copper mine:

It is so large that it has its own weather patterns.

It's been in operation over 100 years, produces 425,000 ounces of gold per year as a by-product in the copper smelting process. Gold currently sells for over $1500 an ounce.

The mine provides 40% of all copper used in the U.S. The copper is 99.9% pure after it is refined.

The mine and all its connected services provide 25,000 jobs in the Salt Lake Valley.

If you ever visit the Salt Lake area, I hope you will get a chance to go see the Kennecott Open Pit Copper Mine.

27 comments:

  1. Wow, what a neat place to visit. And it's neat that you appreciate it, even though it's right under your nose. So to speak. Too often, people fail to appreciate the things in their own back yards, or states. By the way, I like your new picture.

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  2. That looks really interesting. We were in Salt Lake last year but didn't know about this. Thanks for sharing.
    Karen

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  3. I did an oral report in 5th grade about copper mines...all these years later he topic still amazes.

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  4. Cool! And, wow, that IS massive. Looks like it was a fun -- and interesting -- outing.

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  5. How cool! It kind of looks like a giant spider web with the way the lines sprawl across like that. However, all I can think of is how hot it is right now, so no road trips for me, haha.

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  6. Adding: Love your new picture! You're so pretty!

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  7. Amy, Thanks! I usually take horrible pictures but I just clicked this one at random with my phone. And it turned out!

    Linda, The picture of the mine here doesn't even begin to do it justice. Those huge trucks look like little ants crawling around the sides when you look into the excavation.

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  8. Fabulous pics, Karen. And a great blog...

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  9. That's a lot of copper and gold. Thanks for stating the photo was sideways. Thought there was something wrong with me at first.

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  10. Ya know, I lived there for years and never went? The next time I journey back to Zion, I'll have to make a pit-stop. Thanks!

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  11. I've been on lots of mine tours here in Colorado, but ours are all underground, not open like that one. Fascinating. I didn't know they mined that much copper in Utah. Or gold.

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  12. So glad you got out of the house and were able to explore and discover a local gem :-)

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  13. I've been through Ogden a few times, but if I ever get to Salt Lake, I will visit that place.

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  14. It sounds like an impressive place! 40% of all copper? Wow.

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  15. It's brilliant to see your family!! Yay!!! That mine is amazing - HUGE!!!! Glad you had a break from all that writing! Yay again! take care
    x

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  16. Some copper mine!! It is huuuuuuuge! Wouldn't mind the tyre money - not greedy!! Glad you are getting out and about for a change. You must be one busy gal. Eddie

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  17. Very impressive! It is a huge operation, and looks as though it's well worth a visit.
    I would never be able for the "solitaryness" of writing, can't go a day without company!

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  18. Wow; looks like you guys had fun. Nice to see daylight once in a while, huh?

    Beautiful pictures :)

    .......dhole

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  19. Well, if I wanted to stage a modern gold robbery, I now know where to go. Thanks for the tip. (And not just for the gold, but for the truck tires.)

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  20. Karen, you need to get our more often so you can share cool stuff with us!

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  21. Wow! That's really cool information. I love the photos. :)

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  22. Hi Karen .. great pics and history .. how long is the mine due to last?

    It's amazing how things get scaled up .. and I love your description of a few of our family went to the mine - you'd take a bus load if you all went!!

    Great fun - thanks .. I hope Farm Girl is on the way to me!! Cheers Hilary

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  23. wow what an interesting place to visit. we have a lot of tin mines in Cornwall, but these are the sort of mines you had to go deep down inside of in order to work. A scary prospect I am sure.
    i loved reading about your trip thanks for sharing

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  24. That would have been fantastic. I love that gigantic wheel.

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  25. This looks really interesting, and definitely unlike anything I've ever seen. Nice photos!

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  26. Dear,

    I think it's same with any other jobs.We need to relax ourselves from time to time so that we can go further and do better.

    karen millen

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