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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended February 09, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 09Feb01

By Deborah Carl

Despite Brigham Young's Desires, Mining Became Big Business for Mormons

OGDEN, UTAH -- While Brigham Young did not want the Saints mining gold, mining became gold in Utah. He told the Saints, "We cannot eat gold and silver, neither do we want to bring into our peaceful settlements a rough, frontier population . . ." While Brigham Young frowned on the pursuit of precious metals, he established coal and iron mines to help the Saints be independent and self-sufficient.

However, it wasn't until the railroad arrived that mining became lucrative going from $190,000 per year to $1.5 million. Over time, Bingham Canyon became home to the largest copper mine in the world. Each year the mine produces 320,000 tons of copper. Already 16 million tons have been removed. The mine also produces 4 million ounces of silver, 500,000 ounces of gold, a million tons of sulfuric acid, and 20 million pounds of molybdenum (used to harden steel).

In the 1980's mines in Utah employed 20,000, but automation has reduced that number to about 7,800. Utah mining produced about $1.9 billion dollars last year.


Mining history in Utah played big role in growth
Ogden UT Standard-Examiner 4Feb01 B6
By Gary Hinds: Standard-Examiner Staff


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