Australia is known for the range of resources and minerals that are used throughout the world for a whole range of purposes, from fuelling cars to helping run cities.
With an overabundance of natural resources that are valued the world over, Australia’s mining industry is also one of the most profitable in the world. With high demand resources comes the necessity of large mining spaces, and Australia certainly has some big ones.
In today’s article, we look at three of Australia’s biggest mines and what purpose each one serves.
The Argyle diamond mine, Western Australia
Located in the remote north of Western Australia, the Argyle diamond mine’s main mined resource is, as the name suggests, diamonds. In fact, the Argyle diamond mine is the largest diamond producer in the world by volume. Compared to other countries, the Argyle is only place on earth known to a have a significant supply of pink diamonds, with the mine being responsible for the mining and production of 90% of the world’s pink diamonds. In addition to pink diamonds, Argyle also mines champagne diamonds, cognac diamonds, and the rare blue diamond.
At this point in time, the Argyle is undergoing a transition from an open pit mine to an underground mine.
The Olympic Dam, South Australia
Located in South Australia, the Olympic Dam is home to a large iron oxide copper gold deposit, which produces a wealth of copper, uranium, gold and silver. Unlike the Argyle, the Olympic is an underground mine, but the site does include an above ground processing plant.
The Olympic Dam is the fourth largest deposit of copper and is also the largest known deposit of uranium in the whole world. Despite uranium being the mine’s largest deposit, it only makes up a fraction of the mine’s overall revenue.
The Super Pit gold mine, Western Australia
It’s official name is the Fimiston Open Pit, but the sheer size of the Western Australia-based gold mine has earned the nickname “Super Pit”. It’s a title the mine is certainly worthy of, thanks to the fact it is the largest open pit gold mine in all of Australia.
The Super Pit has an oblong appearance when viewing it from the air, and its dimensions run at 3.5 kilometres long, 1.5 kilometres wide, and 570 metres deep. The majority of gold found at the Super Pit initially comes in the form of telluride minerals. More often than not, these minerals need to be crushed and treated to reach the gold within.
Got any other mines you think deserve a mention? Share them with us in the comments below.