Educator resources

Due to slope movement of the northeast wall at Rio Tinto Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine over the winter, the visitors center and overlook plaza will not reopen for the summer 2013 season. Plans are underway to provide an educational opportunity for Utahns and tourists in 2014.

In the meantime, you may still schedule an assembly to help your class learn about the importance of mining and its relationship to sustainable development. To learn more about our assembly program, click here.

› From ore to more A six-minute video on the story of copper from start to finish


Learning about minerals and mining

The role minerals play in modern society is sometimes hidden in the finished product.

  • Cars: If you purchase gasoline for an automobile, you know it is a petroleum product. Have you ever thought about the materials that make up a car? Today’s cars are a composite of iron, manganese, chromium, lead, zinc, platinum, copper, aluminum and many other materials, each essential to some part of the automobile. Many of these materials came from the Bingham Canyon Mine.
  • Food: It may be surprising to know calcium, iron, manganese, zinc and other essential elements are in the food we eat. The minerals used in machinery and fertilizers for modern agriculture are not visible in the completed product, but it’s there.
  • Energy: The energy industry requires 29 different non-fuel mineral commodities to harness and deliver the energy that society depends on.
  • Electronics: Phones contain 42 different elements. Of about 100 mineral commodities used by society today, essentially all of them are used directly or indirectly by the electronics industry and in the production of computers.

Think about what life would be like without copper.