For the second year in a row, Rio Tinto Kennecott was awarded the BNSF Railway Stewardship Award today in Fort Worth, Texas. The award recognizes material shippers who have tendered more than 500 railcars to move over the BNSF Railway during the year without an accidental product release. BNSF Railway is one of North America's largest freight transportation companies operating on 32,000 route miles of track in 28 states and two Canadian provinces.
Kennecott earned this award for its safety and accident-free record in 2013 in transporting sulfuric acid from the Smelter. In the copper production process, we upgrade ore from the mine to produce copper concentrate using a flotation process. The copper concentrate entering the smelter is about one-third copper, one-third iron, and one-third sulfur, with other trace minerals. The smelting process breaks the elements apart and the sulfur is driven off as sulfur dioxide gas.
Kennecott delivers sulfuric acid via rail car to gold, copper, uranium and beryllium metal producers, fertilizer producers, chemical manufacturers, power plants, steel companies, farmers and companies involved in water treatment across the United States.
Three Kennecott employees from the Smelter were present to accept the award today in Texas. Cory Johns, a distribution and logistics analyst, was accompanied by Brian Giles and Stewart Talbot. Giles is the Supervisor Operations at the Smelter, and Stewart is an Operator C who is responsible for loading Kennecott’s tank cars with sulfuric acid.