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5 Incredible Places That Were Once Mining Sites

Mining companies are in a continuous environmental battle. We frequently hear about the fines they receive and the lawsuits they have to fight; however, we rarely hear about the other spectrum and the positive stories of mining companies giving back to their communities and environment. Here are five incredible and mind-blowing examples of mine reclamation done right from mining sites across North America.

Butchart Gardens – Vancouver, BC

Robert Pim Buchart got his start in the mining industry when he founded Owen Sound Portland Cement Company in 1888, in Ontario, Canada. In 1904, he and his wife Jeannie Foster Kennedy moved to Victoria, British Columbia, where he opened the Portland Cement Mill to capitalize on the area’s rich limestone deposits.

As the years went by and the deposits diminished, Mr. Buchart’s wife Jeannie took over and started a labor of love, turning the scarred land into a beautiful garden. Mission accomplished! Butchart Gardens is a renowned tourist destination in British Columbia, and it is on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

Below is a picture of the garden as an active mining site. The image above is the Butchart Garden as it is today!

Six Flags Amusement Park and La Cantera Shopping Center, San Antonio, TX

The McDonnell family started the Beckman quarry in San Antonio, TX, in 1934. Rich in limestone, this quarry produced until a fraction of it exhausted its output. This portion of the mine later became the new home to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and La Cantera Hill Country Resort. Eventually, the active section of the mine was sold to Martin Marietta in 1998.

Louisville Mega Cavern – Louisville, KY

The Louisville Mega Cavern started humbly in the mid-20th Century as a limestone quarry. The Cavern operated for 42 years, from the 1930s through the 1970s. However, it was purchased by a group of private investors in 1989. The investors brought in tons of recycled rock, brick, block, concrete, and dirt into the Cavern to transform it from a cavernous underground quarry to storage and office space with internal roads, spanning 100 acres.

Old Works Golf Course – Anaconda, MT

The Anaconda Copper Mining Company was founded by Marcus Daly in 1881, when he bought a silver mine, only to discover substantial copper deposits. The company built a smelter, and the copper mine went into production. In 1899, Marcus Daly sold his assets to Henry H. Rogers and William Rockefeller. In 1977, Atlantic Richfield Company purchased the mine, and not long after, closed the smelting plant. Tagged as a Superfund site by the EPA, Atlantic Richfield decided on a reclamation plan that became the Old Works Golf Course in 1997.

Subtropolis Technology Center – Kansas City, MO

Boasting itself as the “World’s Largest Underground Business Complex,” this repurposed underground limestone mine is a 55,000,000 square-foot city underneath Kansas City, MO.

The development of this project was lead by the late Lamar Hunt, owner of Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development, Inc. Hunt was also once the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs. The underground industrial park opened in 1964 and is still going strong.

Just as these mines have “reinvented” themselves, job seekers sometimes need to do so, as well. Partner with Johnson Search Group, and let’s work together to help you find your next career challenge.