NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite captured Palabora Mines, South Africa. The open-pit mine has 2km in width.
The mine pictured here has been growing vertically and horizontally near Phalaborwa, South Africa, for more than 50 years. Copper mining began at Palabora in 1965, and the open-pit development became fully operational in just 2 years. The hole reached 800 meters down into the Earth before the depletion of resources made it uneconomical to continue mining in 2003. Operations then moved underground (below the pit) from 1996 and mostly out of sight. Open-pit mines are one of the artifacts recognizable from space.
The local scenery on the ground is as follows.
Reference: South Africa’s Largest Open-Pit Mine (NASA Earth Observatory)
See earthview photo gallery: LiVEARTH