The mining industry has been the key to development of civilization, underpinning the iron and bronze ages, the industrial revolution and the infrastructure of today's information age. In 2010, the mining industry produced over 18 billion tons of raw product valued at several trillion dollars. Downstream beneficiation and minerals processing of these raw materials adds further value as raw materials and products are created to serve all aspects of industry and commerce worldwide. Apart from Antarctica (which has a treaty in place preventing short to medium term exploitation and exploration of minerals), mining takes place in all of the world's continents.
The world's biggest open pit mine can be found near Hibbing, Minnesota. At its maximum, the area covered by the Hull Rust open pit mine is five miles long, 2 miles wide and 535 feet deep. It looks like a man-made Grand Canyon of over 2,000 acres. The Bingham Canyon Mine, also known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is an open-pit mining operation extracting a large porphyry copper deposit southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, in the Oquirrh Mountains. The mine is owned by Rio Tinto Group, an international mining and exploration company headquartered in the United Kingdom. The Grasberg Mine is the largest gold mine and the third largest copper mine in the world. It is located in the province of Papua in Indonesia near Puncak Jaya, the highest mountain in Papua. It is majority owned through a subsidiary by Freeport-McMoRan.
Traditional mining countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa and Chile dominate the global mining scene. These countries have become the traditional leaders in mining and exploration methods and technology. North America is the major producer of gold and silver. The industry employs approximately 1 million people. Major companies include Barrick, Newmont and Industrias Penoles. Europe is not a major mining center. However, it has several established base metal mines in Scandanavia, Ireland and the Iberian Peninsula. Major companies include Boliden and Outokumpu. Asia is a major producer of base metals, PGE's, ferrous metals and coal.
Most major producers are state controlled, but foreign investment is being encouraged, in particular by China, India and the CIS. South America is a major producer of base and ferrous metals, in particular copper and iron ore. Major companies include Codelco, Barrick, CVRD, Newmont and Rio Tinto. Africa is a major producer of cobalt, gold, PGE's and diamonds. Mining accounts for a substantial proportion of several countries GDP's. Major companies include Anglo American, De Beers and BHP Billiton. Australasia is a leading producer of iron ore, gold and base metals. Major companies include BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Normandy Mining.
We bring an entire in-depth coverage of over 100 major mines of the world in the research report Analyzing the Major Mines of the World. This extensive report covers comprehensive profiles of the mines profiled, which includes production data, location data, geographic data, and much more. Commodities such as copper, gold, iron, diamonds, platinum, and coal are amongst some of the mines profiled in the report. Since no mining report would be complete without an analysis of the global metals & mining industry, we also analyze the same in this report, along with the environmental legacy of the mining industry.