The Super Pit
by Staff Writers
Perth, Australia (AFP) April 20, 2010
The biggest earthquake in 50 years rattled Western Australia's Goldfields region on Tuesday, damaging buildings but not causing any injuries, officials said.
The 5.2-magnitude quake, at a shallow depth of just 10 kilometres (six miles), struck just outside the Kalgoorlie-Boulder mining towns at about 8:17 am (0017 GMT), geologists said.
"The earthquake has impacted mainly the Boulder area damaging around five or six older hotels on Burt Street including the Roc Hotel and Golden Eagle," Geoscience Australia said in a statement.
A spokesman for the geoscientific agency said the remote mining centre, about 600 kilometres (370 miles) east of Perth, had not seen an earthquake bigger than 4.2 in the previous half-century.
"This is quite a large earthquake for Australia and a shallow, potentially damaging, earthquake," he said. "It's the largest event in this area in the last 50 years."
Officials at nearby mines were not immediately available for comment.
More Info about the mine:
The Super Pit
The Super Pit is an open-cut gold mine approximately 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long, 1.6 kilometres (1.0 mi) wide and 512 metres (1,680 ft) deep. It was created by Alan Bond, who bought up a number of old mine leases in order to get the land area needed for the Super Pit. Every now and again the digging reveals an old shaft containing abandoned equipment and vehicles from the earlier mines.
The mine operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The mine blasts at 1:00 pm every day, unless winds would carry dust over the town.
Each of the massive trucks carries 225 tonnes of rock and the round trip takes about 35 minutes, most of that time being the slow uphill haul. Employees must live in Kalgoorlie; it is not a fly-in fly-out operation.