NEW YORK Kennecott Utah
Copper has been given the go-ahead to access portions of the
Bingham Canyon Mine affected by a recent wall slide, including
the lower pit, but the company does not plan to resume work
Limited ore hauling is taking
place, using 40-tonne trucks, from a stockpile near the mine to
the Copperton concentrator, the company said.
"Though the Mining Safety Health
Administration has released Kennecott to access portions of the
mine, Kennecotts geotechnical experts are doing their own
assessment and will continue to take a measured approach before
resuming work in the mine to ensure safety," it said in a
statement. "Kennecotts experts will be using
remote-controlled equipment to evaluate portions of lower
Bingham Canyon Mine to assess the area."
Kennecott, a subsidiary of
London-based Rio Tinto Plc, declared force majeure on
shipments of copper cathode from Bingham after an April 10 wall
slide forced it to halt production (
amm.com, April 16).
April shipments of copper
cathode are continuing as planned, but May shipments from
inventory at its refinery will be at a reduced level. The
company is still producing cathode at its refinery using
stockpiled inventory (
amm.com, April 12).
The slide is expected to lower
mined and refined copper output across Rio Tintos
operations this year by 125,000 tonnes and 100,000 tonnes,
respectively, the group said.
Employees across the operation
have been asked to voluntarily take vacation or unpaid time off
while the company assesses the near-term business impacts of