The Biggest Mines in History



Year Name Location Size Explanation
2600 BC - 2100 BC MineGrimes Graves Norfolk, Great Britain 400 pits 13m deep the best preserved and largest Neolithic flint mine
600 BC - 50 BC MineSalzbergwerk Hallstatt Oberösterreich, Austria 4.5km long, 280m deep The most important celtic salt mine. Brine springs were used since 4.000 BC.
100 BC MineLas Médulas Las Médulas, Spain 22km² open cast Largest gold mine in the Roman Empire.
968 AD - 1980 MineRammelsberg, Germany Harz, Germany 10km² the most important silver mine during the middle ages
1200s - 1992 MineStora Kopparberget Falun, Dalarna Province, Sweden open cast 95m deep, 400m long and 350m wide in the 1600s, the mine supplied two thirds of European copper, in total 30 million tons of ore
1426-1550 MineSchwazer Silberbergwerk Tirol, Austria 250 tunnels with more than 500km length in total during the 15th and 16th century the biggest silver mine of the world, until American mines produced cheaper silver.
1871-1914 MineKimberley Mine - Big Hole South Africa 215m deep hole the world’s largest diamond mine, owned and operated by De Beers produced some 15 million diamonds
1866-1884 Malakoff Diggins California, USA 2.133m long, 914m wide, 182m deep during the gold rush in California the biggest hydraulic mine in the world
1910-1950 MineHull Rust Mine Minnesota, USA 8km long, 3.2km wide, 180m deep produced one-fourth of all iron ore mined in the United States between 1910 and 1950