Earth Inc.: Taking a Shine to Real Estate

A Utah copper mine may strike gold for its unloved owner in a new form--as a housing development

Look west anywhere in Salt Lake Valley and you won't see the future--Americans' traditional association with that compass point--but the past. In Bingham Canyon, at the foot of the Oquirrh Mountains, five generations of copper miners spanning the 20th century have cleared a pit three-fourths of a mile deep and more than 2 miles across, seemingly large enough to catch the expansive Utah sky should it ever fall in. The sky hangs securely above, but the state's economy, which since 1988 had seemed equally horizonless, has slipped with everyone else's into a canyon-like rut.

Kennecott Utah Copper, the mine's operator since...

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