Rio Tinto Kennecott marks one-year anniversary of Bingham Canyon Mine slide

To mark the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the 165-million-ton landslide at the Bingham Canyon Mine, Kennecott recounts victories and reinforces focus on business recovery. Mine staff are also participating this week in a number of appreciation events.

"Preparing and responding to the slide tested our mettle, and I am proud of how our teams rose to the occasion," said Bingham Canyon Mine General Manager Matt Lengerich. "The magnitide and aftermath of the slide was unprecedented and has presented numerous challenges to overcome. It has been inspiring to see individuals and teams come together and create innovative approaches to conquer complex tasks quickly, effectively and safely."

Noteworthy milestones accomplished during the past year:

  • Pre-slide planning and communication resulted in zero injuries during the slide and slide remediation.
  • Operations resumed 48 hours following the slide.
  • First ore delivered 17 days following the slide and new-ore delivery remains consistent.
  • Less than 10 percent of Kennecott's equipment was damaged in the slide, and 16 pieces of large equipment have been recovered with four haul trucks back in service.
  • Valuable components have been salvaged from the electric shovel, haul trucks and drills damaged in the slide.
  • Mine access road that restored top-to-bottom access within the mine opened in November 2013 seven months ahead of schedule.

"There are many success milestones and moments of pride to celebrate; however, we recognize that there is still a significant amount of work and tremendous challenges that lie ahead of us. We anticipate it will be 2016 before we return to normal operations," said Lengerich.

The following are key recovery objectives that need to be accomplished prior to establishing normal operations:

  • Continue to stabilize areas within the mine impacted by the slide and recover equipment.
  • Consistently deliver ore by mining in areas of the mine that were not impacted by the slide.

Rio Tinto Kennecott staff throughout the operation is commemorating and recognizing today's anniversary with unwavering determination to once again being a premier mineral producer.