Sophisticated systems help ensure a safe operation
South Jordan, Utah (April 7, 2016) – Rio Tinto Kennecott’s sophisticated monitoring systems, along with hundreds of trained eyes in its everyday operation, have detected movement on the west wall of the Bingham Canyon mine. Wall movement in open pit mines is an infrequent but normal occurrence and is monitored closely.
Kennecott is now taking pre-emptive steps to keep employees safe and reduce any operational impacts of a potential slide.
- Actively collecting and monitoring data to understand any movement and plan for various contingencies
- A color–coded system – green, yellow, orange, red – to communicate any change in the stability of the wall and actions to keep people safe and limit operational impacts
- Ensuring employee safety by restricting access to areas of concern and relocating employees to other areas within the mine.
- Communicating with employees, regulatory agencies and community stakeholders
Kennecott geotechnical experts identified movement in the summer of 2015 and have continued to closely monitor movement in the area. All indications are that any potential slide would be approximately 100 times smaller than the Manefay slide of 2013.
Any potential slide will be self-contained and will not impact the public except for the potential of visible dust.
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About Rio Tinto Kennecott
As one of the largest copper producers in the United States, Rio Tinto Kennecott comprises nearly 7 percent of U.S. copper production. Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the top producing copper mines in the world with production at more than 19 million tons. Rio Tinto purchased Kennecott and related facilities in 1989 and has invested more than $2 billion in modernization since that time. Kennecott has also spent more than $350 million on the cleanup of historic mining waste and $100 million on groundwater cleanup. Take a closer look at riotintokennecott.com.
About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the United Kingdom, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.
Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminum, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and Southern Africa. www.riotinto.com