NEW YORK 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.
Kennecotts mine 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 added.
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 output.