The World’s 6 Deepest Pits (The Biggest is in Utah!)

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Updated: July 4, 2023
Share on:


Whether any of these deep pits are natural or not, we can’t deny how large and interesting they are! Take a look at these world record-holders:

Picture graph of the World's 6 Deepest Pits
Mining for copper, gold, diamonds and other minerals created these enormous pits.

While there are a lot more than six deep pits on Earth, we will be reviewing the world’s six deepest pits and how they were formed.

1. Bingham Canyon Mine

Bingham Canyon Mine largest man-made excavation on earth

The largest pit in the world is Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah.


The largest pit in the world is in Utah! Bingham Canyon Mine is over 100 years old. In 1848, Sanford and Thomas Bingham discovered the massive mineral-filled canyon and extracted the ore. The production was small until the team used open-pit mining techniques to expand through the canyon with tunnels. Miners found placer gold, lead-silver, and copper-gold while working in the mine.

But how large is Bingham Canyon Mine? It is so large that you can see the excavation operations from space! Bingham Canyon Mine is also still operating with a surface area of 1900 acres. It is 2.5 miles wide and incredibly deep. Bingham Canyon Mine reaches 3,969 feet deep, making it the deepest pit in the world!

2. Chuquicamata Copper Mine

Chuquicamata is the second biggest open pit copper mine in the world.


The second-deepest pit in the world is the Chuquicamata copper mine, which is located in the Antofagasta Region of Chile. While it is not the deepest pit in the world, it is the largest open pit copper mine by total volume. It sits at an elevation of 9,350 feet and has a maximum depth of 2,790 feet. This open pit is also 2.6 miles wide. Since 1882, workers have mined for copper and gold in the Chuquicamata copper mine.

Even before the 19th century, the Spanish and Incas harvested gold from the mine. Scientists found this out when the ‘Copper Man’ was discovered. This ancient mummy is thought to be from 550 A.D. The Chuquicamata copper mine is nicknamed the Chuqui open pit.

3. Escondida Copper Mine

Escondida Copper Mine

Found in the Atacama Desert is the Escondida, a copper mine, and the third-largest pit in the world.

©NASA – The original uploader was Seth Ilys at English Wikipedia / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons – License

The Escondida copper mine is the third-deepest pit in the world. You can find it in the Atacama Desert, Chile. It’s still in operation and mainly produces copper, gold, and silver. There are two open pit mines within the large pit; Escondida pit and Escondida Norte pit. The largest is the Escondida pit, with a maximum depth of 2,116.14 feet. The smaller open mine, the Escondida Norte pit, is only 1,722.44 feet deep.

Although the word ‘Escondida’ means hidden, it is not really hidden. Instead, before it was dug up for ores, the ore was hidden hundreds of meters deep. Minera Escondida drilled through a line of copper to excavate for more minerals. Fun fact, the Escondida copper mine is the world’s largest copper mine by volume and production.

4. Udachny Diamond Mine

With a maximum depth of just over 2,000 feet, the Udachny is a diamond mine.

©Stepanovas (Stapanov Alexander). Timestamp at the bottom right was removed by Michiel Sikma in 2006. / CC BY-SA 3.0 – License

While most open pits and mines on this list were drilled for minerals like copper, the Udachny mine produces tons of glistening diamonds. It is the fourth-deepest pit in the world, with a maximum depth of 2,066.93 feet. It’s located in the Eastern Siberian Region of Russia. Mining first began only half a century ago in 1971, but the pit was discovered in 1955. It is still in production today. Impressively, the Udachny mine produced ten million carats of diamond for years until 2011.

Even though tons of diamonds have been excavated from the open pit, there is an estimate of 225.8 million carats left in the mine. More attention is being drawn to the underground mine instead of the open pit. Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond mining company, operated the Udachny mine.

5. Muruntau Gold Mine

Muruntau Mine

While Muruntau is the largest gold mine in the world, it does not produce the most gold.

©Carpodacus / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

This man-made deep pit began production on July 21, 1969, but the field was found a decade before (1958). The Muruntau mine is in Uzbekistan and is the largest gold mine in the world. You can find this deep pit in the mountains of Muruntau, southwest of the Kyzylkum Desert. Although it is the largest gold mine, it does not produce the most gold. It is ranked second in gold production after the Grasberg enterprise in Indonesia.

Production continues to increase every year. The Muruntau mine is 2.17 miles long and 1.8 miles wide. The depth of this impressive pit is 2,000 feet. However, the current owners, Uzbekistan’s Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinant, plan to dig to a final depth of 2,132.55 feet before switching to an underground mining process. If they reach this maximum depth, the Muruntau mine may become the third-deepest pit in the world.

6. Fimiston Open Pit Gold Mine

Aerial View, Australia, Business, Business Finance and Industry

Also known as the Super Pit, the Fimiston is the sixth-deepest pit in the world.


Last but not least, we have the Fimiston Open Pit. It is the sixth-deepest pit in the world, with a depth of 2,000 feet. It is also known as the Super Pit and is situated in Western Australia. For the longest time, it was the country’s largest producer of gold but was beaten by the Newmont Boddington gold mine. The 1,100 employees aid the pit in producing over 456,000 troy ounces (14.2 t) of gold every year.

The Fimiston Open Pit was first created in 1989 by Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines. Despite slowdowns in 2020 and 2021, the Fimiston Open Pit produced 472,089 ounces of gold. The pit is 2.4 miles long and about 1 mile wide.

Summary of the World’s 6 Deepest Pits

RankPitDepth in FeetLocation
1Bingham Canyon Mine3,969Utah
2Chuquicamata Copper Mine2,790Chile
3Escondida Copper Mine2,116Chile
4Udachny Diamond Mine2,066Russia
5Muruntau Mine2,000Uzbekistan
6Fimiston Open Pit2,000Australia

The photo featured at the top of this post is ©

Share on:
About the Author

Nixza Gonzalez is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics like travel, geography, plants, and marine animals. She has over six years of experience as a content writer and holds an Associate of Arts Degree. A resident of Florida, Nixza loves spending time outdoors exploring state parks and tending to her container garden.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.