Utah State Mineral
State Mineral of Utah
Copper is the most valuable metal mined in Utah, and the state ranks second in the United States for copper production. The majority of Utah’s copper is probably associated with an Oligocene-age intrusion in the Bingham mining district, west of Salt Lake City. In the 1860s, lead, zinc, silver, and copper were found in Utah and several large and lucrative mining districts were formed.
Operating since 1906, the Bingham Canyon mine in Magna, Utah, is the world’s largest open-pit copper mine. It measures 0.5 miles (0.8 km) deep and 2.5 miles (4.0 km) wide. Over the past century, the mine has produced 12 million tons of copper, which is eight times the total yield of metals from the Comstock Lode, Klondike, and California Gold Rushes combined. Today, the Bingham Canyon mine remains important to the economy of Utah. The mine was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Copper was designated Utah’s official state mineral in 1994.
Group: transition metal
Chemical Formula: Cu
Crystal Structure: face-centered cubic
Hardness (Mohs): 3.0
Color: Copper-red. Tarnishes to black or green in air.
Density: 8.94-8.95 g/cm3
Cleavage: None Observed