Community Event: Visiting the Kennecott Copper Mine

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I had the opportunity to go with other Utah bloggers for a free day at the Kennecott Utah Copper Mine in April. This was a community event cosponsored by Kennecott, Mom It Forward and Penne Powers Brian Haynes.

Kennecott is one of the world's largest open-pit mines. It has a great visitor's center where you and your family can learn and interact with displays and exhibits, including 3D microscopes to examine rock and mineral samples that show you how copper is used in our everyday life.

We have lived in Utah for 15 years and I can honestly say I have never been to this mine. When I look across the valley from our home, I can see it. I know it is rich with history and information, but it wasn't until I actually went and toured the facility that I realized how grateful I was for its existence. Who would have known copper was so important in our lives?

Here are some fun facts about the Kennecott Utah Copper's Bingham Canyon Mine:

  • Kennecott has produced more copper than any other mine in history with more than 19 million tons. It is the second largest copper producer in the country and it comprises nearly 25% of U.S. copper production. That is amazing.
  • This mine has been in production for over 100 years.
  • It is 2 3/4 miles at the top and 3/4 mile deep.

  • In 2002, Salt Lake City hosted the Winter Olympics. The gold, silver and copper from the Bingham Copper Mine was used to make the metals at the games.
  • 99% of the metal for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London will come from this same mine.

  • You could lay 38 soccer fields end-to-end across the top of the mine before reaching both side. I am talking big.
  • Each tire on the trucks used to carry the copper out of the mine costs 125K. These tires usually last about one or two years tops.

  • All the money received from admissions and spent at the gift shops go to charities. Even if you went for free like our event, Kennecott reimburses the foundation for every admission dollar. Kennecott's charitable foundation has donated more that 2.6 million to local charities since it's inception in 1992. They loving giving back to the community and assisting public welfare.

My boys had a blast visiting the mine. It was fun to see that everyday household items have copper in them; toothpaste, bar soap, mirrors, towel holders, and lotions are just a few. This is a very important mineral that I think a lot of us take for granted. We had fun learning and interacting with the microscopes and spending time together. Kennecott is a place I am sure we will be visiting yearly. I especially love that they give back to our local community and I will be supporting them in every way I can. 
Where do you like to visit in your community that is not only fun to visit but rich in history and learning?
This post was written by Jill Greenlaw. You can find her at jillsgoodlife.com

#Kennecott

Kennecott Utah Copper Bingham Canyon Mine

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