Copper mine. Open cast mine for extracting copper deposits. Open cast mining involves the stripping of whole layers of rock to form a pit. Open cast mining is usually used when extensive mineral deposits lie near the surface of the Earth. This kind of excavation is environmentally unsound because it involves the destruction of large areas of surface vegetation. Photograph of the Chuquicamata mine, Chile. The Andes mountains of Chile have one of the world's largest deposits of copper. This is mainly in the form of porphyry copper, a mixture of copper minerals distributed in a body of rocks formed by volcanic activity.
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