Monday, April 23, 2012

The Gobi Desert

Last weekend, we went down to the Gobi Desert to visit the "Oyu Tolgoi" copper mine.

We landed here, a ger airport:

In the middle of the desert, the Oyu Tolgoi copper mine has been built in the last 27 months:

Conceptually, the mining operation is simple. Rocks with copper content is dug from the ground, which are then crushed in large washing-machine-like apparatuses. (The large rocks are put into the "washing machine" with steel balls. As the machine turns, the steel balls crush the rocks.) A chemical process is then used to extract "copper concentrate" from the crushed rocks, for further (off-site) processing.

Going into the facility:

Inside. The previously-mentioned washing machines:

This is where the workers live:

This is a ger where we spent a few days. Originally, the trip was supposed to last one day, but because of sandstorms in the desert the planes were cancelled and we stayed an extra two days.

What else is in the desert? Horses, camels, goats, sheep and their nomad owners. The desert is vast:

In addition, there are also petroglyphs of unknown age:

No comments:

Post a Comment