Fact check: Photos show Alaskan pipeline and gold mine, not Keystone pipeline and lithium mine

The claim: Photo shows Keystone Pipeline compared to a lithium mine

Some social media users are disseminating a meme that purportedly compares the environmental impact of the Keystone pipeline and a lithium mine.

The first of two photos shows what appears to be an oil pipeline built along a relatively thin path through an expansive green forest. The bottom photo shows an enormous pit mine on a barren landscape.

"The top picture is part of the keystone pipeline The bottom is a lithium mine," reads the meme's caption in a June 13 Facebook post. "Those are the facts. Truth hurts doesn't it FB."

The post garnered more than 600 interactions in eight days.

But it's wrong on both claims. The photos show the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and an Australian gold mine.

USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the post for comment.

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Photo shows Trans-Alaska Pipeline and Australian gold mine

The top photo of an oil pipeline is very similar to a June 26, 2011, photo posted on Flickr. The photo is labeled "The Alaska Pipeline North of Fairbanks."

The Keystone pipeline is not located in Alaska. It runs between Alberta, Canada and Texas.

However, the Trans-Alaska Pipeline runs north to south across Alaska. This is the pipeline shown in the photo, according to Michelle Egan, a spokesperson for the company that operates the pipeline, Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.

The photo was taken north of Fairbanks, Alaska, she told USA TODAY in an email.

The bottom photo shows a gold mining operation outside of the Australian city, Kalgoorlie-Boulder.

A seemingly identical photo is available on Shutterstock. It is captioned, "Top to bottom of Australia's largest gold mine - super pit in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, on a sunny summer day," according to a Google translation of the page.

Another similar photo of the mine is shown on the Australian tourism website, Australia.com on a page titled, "Guide to Kalgoorlie-Boulder."

The photo is captioned "Super Pit, Kalgoorlie Boulder, Western Australia."

The page links to a website operated by the company that mines the "Super Pit," Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines. The site features photos of what appears to be the same mine from the meme, but from different angles.

The website says it's a gold mine.

The Kalgoorlie Boulder Visitor Centre webpage also says the "Super Pit" is a gold mine.

The meme was previously debunked by the Associated Press, AFP and Lead Stories.

USA TODAY previously debunked other claims involving a photo of a large open-pit mine wrongly said to show a lithium mining operation. In one case, the photo actually showed a copper mine. In another instance, it showed a nickel mine.

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Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a photo shows the Keystone Pipeline compared to a lithium mine. The photos show the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and an Australian gold mine.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Photo shows gold mine, not lithium mine