Kennecott Utah Copper has partially resumed work at the lower
portion of its Bingham Canyon Mine after a wall movement the
width of a football field took place Sept. 11.
About 100 staff and
contractors were evacuated from the mine, 28 miles southwest of
Salt Lake City, which has been operating on a significantly
reduced basis since suffering a massive slide April 10 (
amm.com, April 13).
A ground movement of
around 5 feet was detected by Kennecotts monitoring
systems in the upper portion of the northeast wall where the
April landslide took place, the company said, and visually
detected by a heavy equipment operator.
management team and geotechnical experts, as well as the Mining
Safety and Health Administration, have been reviewing data from
the monitoring equipment and evaluating the movement, but no
additional movement has been seen.
"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. Sept. 12, it
Kennecott, which is
owned by London-based mining company Rio Tinto Plc, had
declared force majeure on cathode shipments (
amm.com, April 16).
Production of mined
and refined copper is expected to drop by about 50 percent this
year as a result of the slide, Kennecott has said, but the
company declined to give an exact figure for its anticipated