John Sandlos is an associate professor of history at Memorial University of Newfoundland. With Arn Keeling he directs the Abandoned Mines in Northern Canada Program (

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In humanity’s relentless search for the industrial minerals that undergird our modern technology and economy, we have extensively and comprehensively ravaged natural landscapes. Sites like the Berkeley Pit in Montana or Western Australia’s Kalgoorlie Super Pit exemplify the awesome scale of these transformations. Indeed, as an industry quip …

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