Our mining history of this region reminds us of the importance of the stuff they dig out of the ground.
Up at the old Holden mine on Railroad Creek the mitigation process is under way at the former copper mining operation. And at the old gold mine called Azurite off of Harts Pass another one is planned.
The big industrial minerals of iron, copper, and aluminum are still important here in the presence of Alcoa’s aluminum reduction plant, still operating thanks to an assured source of low cost power from Rocky Reach Dam.
Copper mining stopped in this region, but it is still big at the huge Bingham mine of Utah, an open pit operation that is expected to go into underground operation in 15 years. The average copper mine today digs 165 tons of rock for every ton of copper it gets, which means every copper operation is huge in size.
Our electrical civilization, growing fastest in China, guarantees a long term need for both copper and aluminum to conduct electricity.