Bingham Canyon

Photograph of Bingham Canyon

Library of Congress

Ore was first discovered in Bingham Canyon (112.15W 40.52N) in 1848, but not exploited because the Mormon settlers in the area were still fully engaged in securing the bare necessities of life.  Rediscovery of the ore in 1860 produced a miniature gold rush, but mining did not really take off until the railroad reached the area in 1873.  This prompted a second rush of miners, mostly foreign, producing one of the most ethnically diverse communities in Utah.

The ore in Bingham Canyon is a superb example of a porphyritic sulfide deposit

Utah Copper Corporation (later Kennecott Copper Corporation) eventually consolidated the many mining claims in the area.  Production still continues at the turn of the millennium from what is now one of the largest open-pit copper mines in the world.  The mine also produces significant amounts of lead and zinc. During the war, production was about 240,000 tons of copper and 35,000 tons each of lead and zinc per year.

Rail connections

Salt Lake City


Van Royen and Bowles (1952)

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