RANKED: The world’s top 10 most valuable mines

Image: Norilsk Nickel. Number 1 on the list, Norilsk Nickel’s eponymous operations in Russia’s far north, date back to 1960 with the discovery of the Talnakhskoye field although the refinery processing Soviet nickel output started up decades earlier. Today a complex of several mines around Norilsk extract the Ni, Cu, Pt, Pd and Au metals from the magmatic sulphide deposit.

The second most valuable orebody in the world being mined today – Olympic Dam in South Australia – was discovered in the mid-1970s, while no. 3 Mogalakwena in South Africa began operations in the 1990s. The world’s largest copper mine Escondida, which sits at no. 4 on the list, was discovered in 1981 but wouldn’t hit current production in excess of one million tonnes per year before 2004. While these mines are approaching middle age, they are relative newcomers considering that no 8 Morenci began operations in 1873, mining activity […]

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