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Rio Tinto halts Bingham Canyon Mine activity

Keywords: Tags  Kennecott Utah Copper, Bingham Canyon, Rio Tinto, wall slide, copper, gold, silver, molybdenum Andrea Hotter

SANTIAGO, Chile — Rio Tinto Plc has suspended operations at its Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah following a wall slide and is currently assessing the damage, the company says.

The April 10 slide ran along a geotechnical fault line of the mine’s northeastern wall.

"Movement on the northeastern wall had accelerated in recent weeks, and pre-emptive measures were taken to relocate facilities and roads prior to the slide," Rio Tinto said. "Mine operations are currently suspended while experts assess the extent of the slide and impact on operations."

No employees were injured.

Bingham Canyon, which is part of London-based Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper division, is a large open-pit mining operation that produces about 300,000 tonnes of copper annually, as well as gold, silver and molybdenum. Kennecott Utah Copper is the second-largest copper producer in the United States, meeting almost a quarter of the country’s copper needs.

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