South Jordan, Utah – Rio Tinto Kennecott has learned that a member of the Kennecott family has passed away as a result of sulfur dioxide exposure at the company’s smelter.
The incident took place in the early hours of October 8 when the employee was performing regular work duties to remove debris from a boiler and was exposed to sulfur dioxide gases. The employee was treated onsite by emergency responders and then taken to a nearby medical center for further evaluation and treatment. The employee passed away last night.
Kennecott Managing Director Marc Cameron said, “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, and our hearts go out to our colleague’s family at this difficult time. We have lost a valuable employee and dear friend, and this incident will have a lasting impact on all of us.”
Kennecott is providing employee assistance to employees across the business and has initiated an investigation into the incident.
About Rio Tinto Kennecott
As one of the largest copper producers in the United States, Rio Tinto Kennecott comprises nearly 20 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.