"The Berkeley Pit is a former open pit copper mine located in Butte, Montana, USA. It is one mile long by half a mile wide with an approximate depth of 1,780 feet (540 m). It is filled to a depth of about 900 feet (270 m) with water that is heavily acidic (2.5 pH level). The pit is laden with heavy metals and dangerous chemicals, including arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and sulfuric acid.
The mine was opened in 1955 and operated by Anaconda Copper and later by the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), until its closure in 1982. When the pit was closed, the water pumps at the bottom were removed, and groundwater from the surrounding aquifers began to slowly fill the pit. Since the pit closure in 1982, the level has risen to within 150 feet of the natural groundwater level."
For a mere $2.00 you can see what my
lifetime, my child's lifetime, his children's lifetime, and their children's lifetime cannot erase. (Photos of our visit here.)
Get all of the details at PITWATCH.
Read Mass Destruction: The Men and Giant Mines That Wired America and Scarred the Planet by Timothy J LeCain.
Blurb on the book: "Mass Destruction is the compelling story of Daniel Jackling and the development of open-pit hard rock mining, its role in the wiring of an electrified America, and its devastating environmental effects. This new method of mining, complimenting the mass production and mass consumption that came to define the "American way of life"in the early twentieth century, promised infinite supplies of copper and other natural resources. LeCain deftly analyzes how open-pit mining continues to adversely effect the environment and how, as the world begins to rival American resource consumption, no viable alternatives have emerged."
Catherine @ Reading In Montana
Currently reading Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers, and Dumpster Divers by Laura Pritchett