Environmental Remediation: What are the types of mines in Utah and the US?

Environmental remediation in Utah occurs on a daily basis at active, closed, and abandoned mine sites.To understand the importance of environmental reclamation, it is also important to understand mining in Utah. This article provides a brief overview of the main types of mining in Utah, other types of mines, and the importance of mining to the Utah economy. Future articles discuss the specific types of mine waste found in Utah requiring site remediation.

Note from Anderson Engineering

Mining in Utah

  • Utah’s mining production totaled $3.7 billion in 2018.
  • Metals accounted for 2.1 billion, with $1.8 billion coming from Rio Tinto Kennecott alone), industrial minerals accounted for $1.2 billion, and coal for $450 million.
  • Utah is actively engaged searching for new metals including beryllium, magnesium and potash. Potential new metals include uranium, vanadium, and lithium.

Types of Mines in Utah and the United States

  • Open Pit Mining
    Open pit mining removes surface rock and uses deep vertical holes to create the mine.
  • Open Pit Mining
    Open pit mining removes surface rock and uses deep vertical holes to create the mine.
  • Open Pit Mining
    Open pit mining removes surface rock and uses deep vertical holes to create the mine.
  • Open Pit Mining
    Open pit mining removes surface rock and uses deep vertical holes to create the mine.

Open pit mining

Open pit mining is the primary method by which major metallic ores are extracted. Open pit mining is the method of choice for low grade ores. With the larger ore bodies common to metal mining the ore body is mined in benches with blasting used to free overburden and continue downward mining. Waste from open pit mining include overburden, mine water, and waste rock.

Mining in Utah

  • Utah’s mining production totaled $3.7 billion in 2018.
  • Metals accounted for 2.1 billion, with $1.8 billion coming from Rio Tinto Kennecott alone), industrial minerals accounted for $1.2 billion, and coal for $450 million.
  • Utah is actively engaged searching for new metals including beryllium, magnesium and potash. Potential new metals include uranium, vanadium, and lithium.