pit run

Super Pit gold mine

The Fimiston Open Pit, colloquially known as the Super Pit, is Australia's largest open cut gold mine. The Super Pit is located off the Goldfields Highway on the south-east edge of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Western Australia.

Most of the good gold mined in the Super Pit occurs within ore lodes formed by ancient shears in a rock unit called the Golden Mile Dolerite. As the result, the area is known as the Golden Mile even though the lodes occur in an area over 2 km in width and 1 km in depth. This renowned Kalgoorlie-Boulder landmark is currently 3.5 km long, 1.5 km wide and 360 m deep, and will eventually stretch 3.9 km long, 1.6 km wide and reach a depth exceeding 500 m. Since 1893, when Irish-man Paddy Hannan first made his famous discovery, more than 50 million ounces (1,550 t) of gold have been mined from the Golden Mile.

Originally consisting of a number of small underground mines, consolidation into a single open pit mine was attempted by Alan Bond, but he was unable to complete the takeover. The Super Pit was eventually created in 1989 by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Pty Ltd, a joint venture between Normandy Australia and Homestake Gold of Australia Limited.

As of 2005 Kalgoorlie Consolidate Gold Mines Pty Ltd is owned by the Australian subsidiaries of the Barrick Gold Corporation and Newmont Mining Corporation and produces up to 900,000 ounces (28 t) of gold every year.

The Super Pit is open for viewing at the public lookout daily between 7 am and 9 pm. Blasts occur regularly and can often be viewed from this lookout located off the Goldfields Highway in Boulder.

Free tours of the Super Pit run once a month on Boulder Market Days. The tours give a behind the scenes look at the mining operations and equipment. A highlight of the tour is the opportunity to view the pit from the OBR (Oroya Bypass Road) internal lookout.

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