Berkeley Pit

Continental Drive, Butte, Montana

Open pit copper mine opened in 1955

Photos 

Berkeley Pit

Photo taken by Richard Doody July 2006

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Description 

The Berkeley Pit is a former open pit copper mine opened in 1955 and operated by Anaconda Copper Mining Company and later by the Atlantic Richfield Company. Mining ended in May, 1982 at which time water pumps in the nearby Kelley Mine, 3,800 feet below the surface, were turned off, and groundwater from the surrounding aquifers began to slowly fill the pit. It filled to a depth of about 900 feet with highly acidic water and toxic heavy metals including copper, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and sulfuric acid. The pit has been declared an EPA superfund site and clean up operations continue to this day.

Update Log 

  • September 23, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • July 9, 2018: Updated by Richard Doody: added GPS coordinates
  • July 6, 2018: Added by Richard Doody

Sources 

  • Richard Doody