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Palabora copper mine

The largest man-made hole in Africa is located 360 kilometres north-east of South African capital, Pretoria. The Palabora copper mine was excavated open-cast for 38 years: the end-result is easily visible from space: the pit now approaches 2000 metres in diameter and 762 metres deep (more than 230 metres beneath sea level).

In 2002 owner Rio Tinto declared the pit's depth meant surface extraction was now uneconomic, and instead developing an underground mine to work the copper ore beneath the pit bottom.