Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Kalgoorlie Super Pit

Super Pit tour, Kalgoorlie
In Kalgoorlie we joined a bus tour into the open cut goldmine called Super Pit.

It's a mighty big hole in the ground, three kilometres long, more than a kilometre wide and not quite a kilometre deep. The operation runs 24 hours a day and yields about 60 kilograms of gold a day.

From the lookout the monster trucks look tiny.

One of the survey markers
There are survey points all around the pit. All are computer monitored continuously so that any movement in the cliff faces will be instantly known. Every vehicle is constantly monitored as well. Safety is paramount.

Old underground mine debris
The pit is an amalgamation of 80 separate mining operations and as the open pit is excavated they find the old tunnels that contain all the bits of wood and metal that were left underground. It all has to be separated so as not to disrupt the conveyor  belts and crushers. The company sells it and donates the proceeds to local charities each year. They also have a reclamation program, trying out various methods of planting mullock heaps.

Reclamation of a mullock heap. These were planted out several years ago.
This plot was planted about 20 years ago.
Our guide's gold ear ring
The Super Pit company embellished the clock tower with gold leaf .
All in all an interesting tour but this and the numerous other open cut pits in the goldfields region are doing an enormous amount of environmental damage.

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