Hambach surface mine

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Lignite mines in North Rhine-Westphalia

The Tagebau Hambach is a large open-pit mine (German: Tagebau) in Niederzier and Elsdorf, North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany. It is operated by RWE and used for mining lignite. Begun in 1978, the mine's operation area currently (as of 2011) has a size of 39 km², with the total area designated for mining having a size of 85 km².[1] It is the deepest open pit mine with respect to sea level: the bottom of the pit is 299 metres (981 ft) below sea level,[2] the deepest man-made point on the Earth's surface.[citation needed]

Panoramic view seen from Sophienhöhe

Coordinates: 50°54′39″N 6°30′10″E / 50.91083°N 6.50278°E / 50.91083; 6.50278

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