Town being eaten by a mine

Yahoo has a very sad story about the town of Cerro de Pasco, Peru, and how the city is slowly being devoured by a mine.


For more than 50 years, the zinc and lead mine has slowly grown in size. Not only is it slowly consuming the city (a town square and colonial church were recently destroyed), but the rest of the city is facing the effects of the pollution. I encourage you to read the full story on Yahoo.
The area is remarkably sharp in Google Earth, and you can can fly there to check it out yourself using this KML file. Not only is the imagery high-res, but the terrain in the area is sharp as well, allowing you to literally go down into the hole created by the mine.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. This happens in Germany too with several mines (Inden, Hambach, Garzweiler). In some cases they remove a freeway and several towns for the mine. This is between Aachen and Neuss.

  2. SkyTruth used Google Earth imagery to create a small gallery of images showing this growing mine in the middle of a city – see

  3. The Swedish city Kiruna is being relocated because of the large mine it’s built next to.,20.220337&spn=0.059243,0.264187&t=h&z=13

  4. Good find. The images and story are on TreeHugger

  5. As a peruvian I can tell that the mine was first and then the people came to live there because of the jobs that the mine provied, I think that the mine is not eating the town, but the town sorrounded the mine. Of course there was no planification, and now if the mine wants to grow there will be relocation.

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