Kennecott Utah Copper expects to finish remediation work at its
Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah by the end of 2015 and hopes
production will be back at pre-slide levels by 2016.
The company, owned by
London-based miner Rio Tinto Plc, suffered a massive slide at
the mine in April
(amm.com, April 11) and has since been operating
on a significantly reduced basis.
A main access ramp
that is critical to the recovery process is expected to open by
the end of the year, providing significantly improved access to
the mine site, Kennecott said. Bingham Canyon is a
single-access operation, with one road used by heavy mining
equipment, such as trucks and shovels, to access ore from the
lower pit of the mine.
At the time of the
slide, Kennecott estimated that production of mined and refined
copper would fall by about 50 percent this year as a result of
A company spokesman
told AMM that the company is currently delivering
around 100,000 short tons of ore daily to the concentrator,
with its stockpiled ore providing a steady portion of this
The company declared
force majeure on shipments of copper cathode from June
as a result of the slide on the northeast wall, which dumped
some 150 million tonnes of ore into the mine pit (
amm.com, April 16).