Dronie from a Greek Sulfur Mine
Top contributor wrenee has a well earned reputation as the Queen of the Dronie. Her AirVuz video portfolio consists of dozens of epic drone selfies shot from exotic places all over the world. In this video wrenee and her drone, Furbie, collaborated to shoot a spectacular dronie on the Greek island of Milos outside of an abandoned sulphur mine. Milos is the southernmost of the Cyclades group of islands, a region of Greece in the western Aegean Sea.
Alaska's Independence Gold Mine
While Alaska was purchased by the USA from Russia in 1867, it was a series of gold strikes beginning in the 1890's that put the territory on a path towards statehood. In this video, contributor gives us a bird's eye view of Independence Mine, which lies north of the Matanuska River upstream of its discharge at Anchorage. The mine is part of Independence Mine State Park, which commemorates Alaska's Gold Rush. The great rush peaked in 1897-98 and was more or less over by about 1903.
Copper Mine in Cyprus
The Mediterranean island of Cyprus is synonymous with copper. Literally. The Greek name for the island is "Kupros". Copper mining on the island dates to thousands of years BC. With its best mineral resources having been extracted, mining is no longer a significant part of the economy of Cyprus. That being said, the heritage is still visible. In this video, contributor Soteris used a drone to film a copper mine "lake" (distinguishable by its colorful appearance) near the Cypriot capital city Nicosia.
Roros Copper Mine, Norway
While Norway is not typically associated with mining, at one point it did have substantial copper resources. Production was centered in Roros, a small town in the central part of the country. It was the site of copper mining as early as the 17th century, and at one point was one of best sources for the red metal. In this video, contributor Hopenorway gives us an aerial view of this mining town, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site having ceased mining operations in the 1970's.
Ancient Salt Mine in Israel
Salt is not only one of the world's most basic commodities, it was also amongst the first to be intensively mined. In earlier times it was essential for food preservation, and access to steady supply was crucial to obtaining adequate nutrition. In this video, BK Spector flew a drone over an ancient salt mine in Israel. It's part of Mt. Sodom, a mountain in Israel's Judean Desert. The mountain is 80% salt by composition, and was a key source of the commodity in Biblical times.
Australian Gold Mine
Gold mining was single most important activity which drove the growth of modern Australia. It began with the great strikes in New South Wales and Victoria in the mid 1800's. The first big strikes in Western Australia occurred later in the century, and gold is still being mined there, albeit in smaller quantities. Contributor CarrandDrone worked with the operator of the Edna May Gold Mine in WA over six months to produce this fascinating video of the modern gold mining process.
Illegal Mine in Peru
South America is of course closely associated with mining, going back to the days of the Spanish conquistadors. While the continent's gold resources have largely been exhausted, the Andean nation of Peru continues to be one of the world's most important countries for mining. Unfortunately, some of this activity is performed illegally, at great cost to the environment. In this video, contributor Niels Ahmes used a drone to expose an illegal mining operation in the Amazon Basin.
Asbestos Mine in Cyprus
While the Mediterranean island of Cyprus is closely associated with copper mining, the red metal is not the only mineral to be found on Cyprus. Another is asbestos, whose fibers were used extensively for insulation before it was discovered that they are highly carcinogenic. In this video, contributor Iaian Jordan used a drone to film the Amiantos asbestos mine near the center of the country. Like all asbestos mines, it's been closed, leaving a substantial legacy of cleanup costs.
Romanian Coal Mine
Romania has a long tradition in coal mining, although (like most of Europe) most of what it produces is low quality lignite. Today it's a mid-tier coal producer within the EU, using virtually all of its production for domestic electricity generation. In this video, contributor Alin Constantin gives us a fascinating look at a coal mine in Filipestii de Padure, a town in the Wallachia (Muntenia) region of the country not far from the capital. Dating to the 1800's, it was one of the first modern coal mines in the country.
Sardinia's Mining History
The Mediterranean island Sardinia was home to some of the most important mining activity in Europe for centuries. Most closely associated with silver, it later became an important source of lead extraction. While the island's mines have been shuttered, mining remains an important part of its heritage, and the abandoned mines have become tourist attractions. In this drone video by AD Drone, you'll get a bird's eye view of the Montevecchio Mine, one of Sardinia's most famous.
Virginia City: Nevada Silver Mine
The development of the Southwestern USA was crucially driven by resource exraction, and the area continues to be home to some of the largest mining operations. Nevada was first put on the figurative map with the discovery of the Comstock Silver Lode in 1859, which had an effect comparable to the discovery of gold in neighboring California in 1848. In this video, contributor TampaRandy gives us a drone's eye view of Virginia City, the epicenter of the great silver strike.
Arizona Lead Mine
As much as any state in the USA, Arizona's development was driven by mining. Like other western states, prospectors were initially lured by gold deposits. The state subsequently became known more than anything for copper, of which it remains the largest producer in the country. In this video, contributor Keith Thompson gives us a drone's eye view of an Arizona mine which produced another base metal, lead. The Old 79 Mine, located near Hayden, was shuttered in 1962.
Salt Mining in Baja California
For a bird's eye view of a modern salt mining operation, look no further than this video by award winning contributor Postandfly. The world's largest commercial salt mining operation is located on the Ojo de Liebre Lagoon, in the mid-section of the Baha Peninsula of western Mexico. The saltworks produces 7 million tons of the commodity per year and employs a labor force of about 1,600. It's also part of the El Vizcaíno Biosphere Reserve, an important sanctuary for gray whales.
British Coal Mine Pumping Station
AS Aerial Cinematics created this beautiful drone video of an important industrial landmark in England's West Midlands Region. Cobb's Engine House, also known as the Windmill End Pumping Station, is located near the town of Rowley Regis. It was built around a giant steam engine which pumped water from nearby mines, which supplied coal that fueled Britain's Industrial Revolution. The station was closed in the 1920's, and its steam engine moved to an industrial museum in the USA.
The Great Kennecott Copper Mine
Contributor 9mmAuto created this amazing drone video of the world's largest open pit copper mine. The Bingham Canyon Mine, better known as the Kennecott Copper Mine, is located in northern Utah, southwest of Salt Lake City. Opened in 1905, it's produced an incredible 19 million tons of copper, worth over $100 billion based on early 2019 prices. Its excavation area covers about 1900 acres and is visible from the moon. It's currently owned by international mining giant Rio Tinto.
Copper Mining in Cornwall, England
You've read the "Poldark" novels or seen the TV show adaptation, you'll appreciate that Cornwall in England was once very much mining country. For centuries, tin and later copper extracted from Cornwall mines helped propel the economy of England. Mining in Cornwall is now completely relegated to history; the last mines closed near the turn of the 21st century. In this video by contributor Inspirecornwall, you'll get an epic bird's eye view of Caradon Hill, once the site of innumerable mines.
Coal Mine Monument in Northumberland, England
Brian Priest Aerial Images created this brilliant drone video of the giant Northumerlandia earth sculpture in northern England, which was created from material excavated from an adjoining surface coal mine. The sculpture, which is in the shape of a reclining nude female, was created from material excavated from one of England's largest open cast coal mines. It's in County Northumberland, which played a key role in the Industrial Revolution by producing massive quantities of coal.
Bulgarian Copper Mine
The Balkans have been an important area for mining activity in Europe for centuries. In this drone video by contributor Alex_Markov, you'll get a bird's eye view of a modern copper mine in Bulgaria. The Elastite is situated in the Sofia province in the western part of the country. Operated by the Geotechmin Group, it's estimated to have 650 million tons of recoverable ore. With an average grade of .3%, that translates into about 2 million tons (about 2 billion kg or 4 billion lbs.) of the red metal.
German Lignite Coal Mine
The European Union still relies on coal for about 20% of the region's electricity generation as of 2018. With much of Europe's best coal resources having long since been depleted, most of this power is produced by burning lignite, a lower quality type of coal. Lignite is generally extracted via large opencast mines like the Tagebau Garzweiler in the North Rhine Westphalia state of western Germany. Contributor XL Creations brings this recently-expanded mine to life with this drone video.
Coal Mining in Ukraine's Donbas
While its nickname "the breakbasket of Europe" associates Ukraine with wheat, it's sometimes forgotten is that the country has an equally close connection to another critical commodity: coal. The Ukraine is one of the leading coal producers in Europe, and in the Soviet era was the largest source of coal within the USSR. Arsen Poshotian created this beautiful drone video of the heart of the Ukrainian coal mining industry in the Donets River Basin (aka the "Donbas") in the eastern part of the country.
FPV Diving the Anaconda Big Stack
Contributor and FPV pilot Airblastr created this incredibly cinematic FPV video of a dive down one of the great landmarks of the USA's rich mining history. The Anaconda Smelter Stack, better known as the Big Stack, istands at a height of 180 meters (about 585 ft.). The tallest surviving masonry structure in the world, it was a critical process component for the smelter at the great Anaconda copper mine in Great Falls, Montana. Built in the early 20th century, this was once the world's largest copper mine.
FPV in a Montana Mining Room
In this video by top contributor Airblastr, you'll see that drone videos of mines don't have to be outdoor affairs. He flew a micro drone via FPV in the lift room of one of America's most important historic mines. The mine extracted zinc, lead, and copper from underground deposits, pulling them to the surface with the machinery in this lift room. It's near the town of Butte, the western town which has as much claim as any to be the historic mining capital of the USA.
Mine Engine House in Cornwall
Botallack Mine was once one of the most important in Cornwall, the county in Southwestern England closely associated with copper and tin extraction. Giant (for the time) engine houses lifted the minerals from up to 160 meters (about 500 ft.) below sea level. The site was used as a filming location for the Poldark series, both the original 1970's version and the updated 2010's version. Check out the famous mine from above in this drone video from Inspirecornwall.
Old Gold Mine Near Johannesberg
Check out this fascinating drone video of an old gold mine on the outskirts of Johannesberg, South Africa. It's called Germiston, and it's situated just to the east of the country's largest city. Like Johannesberg itself, Germiston owes its existence to the Witwatersrand Gold Rush of 1886, one of the transformative events in the history of South Africa. While the Germiston mine no longer produces, it has an important nearby legacy - the Rand Refinery, built in 1920, is the world's largest gold refining operation.