South Jordan, Utah (Sept. 12, 2013) - A small amount of ground movement was detected at Rio Tinto Kennecott's Bingham Canyon Mine at approximately 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. This movement was detected in the upper portion of the northeast wall where the April 10 slide took place. As a precautionary measure, approximately 100 employees and contractors were evacuated from the mine. The movement size was approximately as wide as a football field and moved about five feet.
The movement was detected by Kennecott's monitoring systems and visually detected by a heavy equipment operator. The Mine immediately implemented a response plan, and all operations in the mine were stopped. Geotechnical experts have been reviewing data from monitoring equipment, and no additional movement is taking place at this time.
Kennecott's mine management team and the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) have been evaluating the movemebt throughout the day. Limited work has begun in the lower portion of the mine. All areas of the mine are expected to resume full operation by 6 p.m. this afternoon.
About Rio Tinto Kennecott
As the second largest copper producer in the United States, Rio Tinto Kennecott comprises nearly 25 percent of U.S. copper production. Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the top producing copper mines in the world with production at more than 19 million tons. In 2012, Kennecott produced 179,317 tons of copper, 279,200 ounces of gold, 2.4 million ounces of silver, and 20 million pounds of molybdenum. Rio Tinto purchased Kennecott and related facilities in 1989 and has invested more than $2 billion in modernization since that time. Kennecott has also spent more than $350 million on the cleanup of historic mining waste and $100 million on groundwater cleanup. Rio Tinto employs 2,800 people and influences more than 14,000 indirect Utah jobs. In 2011, Kennecott invested $1.2 billion in the state of Utah in wages, benefits, taxes and purchases from nearly 1,000 Utah area businesses. Take a closer look at kennecott.com.
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the United Kingdom, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminum, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and Southern Africa. www.riotinto.com.