PETER FALKNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PETER FALKNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Opencast copper mine. Spill (upper frame) from an opencast copper mine. Opencast mining involves the removal of surface layers of rock to form a pit. The excavated surface rock is known as spill. Opencast mining is used when extensive mineral deposits lie near the surface of the Earth. These are removed with mechanical excavators, and the spill is then replaced. Opencast mining involves the destruction of large areas of surface vegetation. Photographed at the Robinson mine in Ely, Nevada, USA.
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