Felt Soul’s quest for a big-ass hole


Quest fulfilled-the Bingham Canyon mine as seen from 10,500 feet. Note: there used to be mountains there. Photo by Ben Knight

As a child growing up in a trailer park, I was fond of big holes and
ditches. You know, things to hide in so I could ambush Isaac the
unsuspecting kid from next door. It was all fun and games until he got
hit between the eyes with a roofing nail. Still makes me laugh,
thinking back, but at the moment it was terrifying. We had progressed
from bending tree limbs back and letting them go when Isaac was within
beheading range to bloodshed. Anyways, holes have many practical uses
besides booby traps and ambushes. They are especially useful for the
extraction of minerals such as copper, gold and molybdenum.

Travis and I traveled to a remote native Mormon village called Salt
Lake City on Tuesday to get some aerial footage of the only man-made
excavation claimed to be visible from space. This thing is deeper than
an episode of LOST. I know that seems impossible, but it’s true. The
Mormons are apparently trying to find China. Our theory is that
showing an existing open pit mine similar to the proposed size of Pebble would be an important thing for Alaska to consider when they vote on whether or not to kill half the World’s salmon. Oops, there I
go giving my opinion again. Sorry, forget that you just read that.

Huge thanks to Sama at Lighthawk (www.lighthawk.org) for all the help
with arranging our flight over the mine site and “props” [get it?] to
Larry the pilot for being awesome and keeping the oily side down.

Bingham Canyon Mine Stats:

*Number of Mormons it would take to fill the open pit: almost all of them

*Amount of copper excavated so far: 17 million tons

*Depth: 3,960 feet

*Width: 2.5 miles

*The mine has nothing to do with Mormons, just to clarify.


8 thoughts on “Felt Soul’s quest for a big-ass hole

  1. Pingback: Someday, Alaska, All This Could Be Yours: : The Trout Underground Fly Fishing Blog

  2. Just wanted to add a little background to your big ass hole blog. Ironically, the mining operations in Bingham Canyon are related to Mormons, but in a backwards sort of way. Mining operations were started by soldiers who were sent by President Johnson to Utah to keep and eye on the Mormons. General Patrick Connor formed a mining district and heavily promoted it in order to get more non-mormons to come to Utah and diminish the power of the Mormon Church.

    Ref: http://www.media.utah.edu/UHE/b/BINGHAMCANYON.html

    A lot of tailings from the mine are in a big ass pile at the north end of the Oquirh Mountains – the south end of the Great Salt Lake. I hope you got a picture of that too. Tailings are pumped in a slurry to a shallow cess pool at the top of the tailings pile. The tailings pile looks like a big reservoir on Google Earth.

  3. Hi Guys–

    I have an aerial shot of this pit circa 1970 from a trip I made to Salt Lake. It was smaller then, but just as ugly.

    Your website is very cool!


  4. Its a shame, I live in Sitka AK, and my town and I voted yes on ballot measure 4. (Unlike our ever so intelligent Governer who would rather rape, pilage, and burn the Last Frontier) It was a 60/40 in favor of the clean water act. Pity that Sitka is the only community that has it together enough to see farther than 10 years down the road. When this thing blows up in Dynasty’s face I hope to hell they dont get off easy like there friends at Exxon Mobil.
    Damn Republicans cant tell there ass from that giant hole in the ground!

  5. While Bingham Canyon is the largest single open pit mine in existence, if you zoom into the Carlin Nevada region, you can see two huge holes. The Barrick Goldstrike Mine and The Newmont Carlin Trend Mine. Rumor is that there is a single wall that seperates them and that if the wall was removed the two pits combined would be over 130% of Bingham.

    There are some huge holes on this planet!

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