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The expanding Yanacocha Mine dominates the land change seen in this series of images. Operated by the Newmont Mining Corporation in Greenwood Village, Colorado, the Yanacocha Mine is the second largest gold mine in the world, and the largest in Latin America. Consisting of seven distinct deposits, the open pits cover over 30,000 hectares of land.

The mine is located about 45 kilometers from Cajamarca in northern Peru on top of Yanacocha Mountain at an altitude of 4,700 meters, nestled in the Andes Mountains.

Mining operations at Yanacocha have been continuously expanding since 1993. Production peaked in 2005 when the mine produced 3.33 million ounces of gold. In 2014, just over 1 million ounces of gold came out of the mine. As of December 31, 2014, reserves are estimated to be 155 metric tons of gold.

In these false-color Landsat images, the expansion of the open pit mining is shown in varying shades of pink. Green is vegetation, and agricultural areas near the city of Cajamarca (visible as bright pink and purple shades) appear as bright green in the bottom center of the images.

Imagery

Every picture has a story to tell
June 23, 1987, Landsat 5 (path/row 9/65) — Yanacocha Mine, Peru
June 13, 1995, Landsat 5 (path/row 9/65) — Yanacocha Mine, Peru
Aug. 19, 1999, Landsat 7 (path/row 9/65) — Yanacocha Mine, Peru
Aug. 11, 2002, Landsat 7 (path/row 9/65) — Yanacocha Mine, Peru
Aug. 1, 2007, Landsat 7 (path/row 9/65) — Yanacocha Mine, Peru
June 9, 2011, Landsat 5 (path/row 9/65) — Yanacocha Mine, Peru
July 16, 2013, Landsat 8 (path/row 9/65) — Yanacocha Mine, Peru
July 24, 2016, Landsat 8 (path/row 9/65) — Yanacocha Mine, Peru
June 25, 2017, Landsat 8 (path/row 9/65) — Yanacocha Mine, Peru
Aug. 2, 2019, Landsat 8 (path/row 9/65) — Yanacocha Mine, Peru
July 6, 2021, Landsat 8 (path/row 9/65) — Yanacocha Mine, Peru

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References (Earthshot Overview/Parent Only)

Chadwick, J., 2011, Newmont, South America: International Mining, accessed April 4, 2018, at http://www.infomine.com/library/publications/docs/internationalmining/chadwick2011j.pdf.

Greyl, L., 2015, Yanacocha Mine, Peru: Environmental Justice Atlas, accessed April 4, 2018, at https://ejatlas.org/conflict/yanacocha-mine-peru.

Jeronimo, R.P., Rap, E., and Vos, J., 2015, The politics of Land Use Planning—Gold mining in Cajamarca, Peru: Land Use Policy, v. 49, p. 104–117, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.07.009.

Living in Peru, 2007, Procon, Peru—The Model Farm: livinginperu.com, accessed April 4, 2018, at http://www.livinginperu.com/travel-256-cajamarca-porcon-peru-the-model-farm/.

Mining Technology, [n.d.], Newmont Gold Minera Gold Mine – Minera Yanacocha – Peru: mining-technology.com, accessed April 4, 2018, at https://www.mining-technology.com/projects/minera/.

Newmont Mining Corporation, 2018, Overview: Newmont Mining Coproration, accessed April 4, 2018, at http://www.newmont.com/operations-and-projects/south-america/yanacocha-peru/overview/default.aspx.

Santana, D., and Converso, G., 2012, Open Pit: River of Life Productions, accessed April 4, 2018, at https://vimeo.com/50059350.

Teal, L., and Benavides, A., 2010, History and Geologic Overview of the Yanacocha Mining District, Cajamarca, Peru: Economic Geology, v. 105, no. 7, p. 1173–1190, https://doi.org/10.2113/econgeo.105.7.1173.

Technology Industry OF Gold Mining, [n.d.], Process Of Gold Mining Yanacocha Peru The Largest Gold Mine In South America, Technology Industry OF Gold Mining, accessed April 4, 2018, at http://www.miningeducation.com/2015/10/process-of-gold-mining-yanacocha-peru.html.

Tovar, C., Seijmonsbergen, A.C., and Duivenvoorden, J.F., 2013, Monitoring land use and land cover change in mountain regions—An example in the Jalca grasslands of the Peruvian Andes: Landscape and Urban Planning, v. 112, p. 40–49, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.12.003.

Vela-Almeida, D., Kuijk, F., Wyseure, G., and Kosoy, N., 2016, Lessons from Yanacocha—assessing mining impacts on hydrological systems and water distribution in the Cajamarca region, Peru: Water International, v. 41, no. 3, p. 426–446, https://doi.org/10.1080/02508060.2016.1159077.

Xun, S., 2017, 2014 Minerals Yearbook—Peru: U.S. Geological Survey, accessed April 4, 2018, at https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/country/2014/myb3-2014-pe.pdf.

Zunino, A.R., 2015, Forest production and marketing cooperatives in the Peruvian Andes, in Pasiecznik, N., and Savenije, H., eds., Effective Forest and Farm Producer Organizations: Wageningen, the Netherlands, Tropenbos International, p. 99–105, http://www.pacificfarmers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ETFRN-57.pdf#page=107.

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