BP Minerals is Utah's second industrial phoenix to rise from the ashes of closure.
Recent years saw the economic vitality of Geneva Steel and Kennecott melt in the heat of stiff international competition and a faltering metals market.But last week, Basic Manufacturing and Technologies put teeth into its claim that Geneva has truly risen from the ashes by paying out $10 million in profit-sharing money to 2,200 employees. The average bonus came to an impressive $4,000 per employee.
This week, BP Minerals unveiled its phoenix - a streamlined and updated successor to the former Kennecott Copper operation that it claims will keep producing copper far into the next century. It also announced bonuses totaling nearly $4 million, amounting to as much as $2,000 per employee.
The two come-back stories provide encouraging examples to other Utah firms struggling for success.
The copper company had a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning and gave local VIPs a tour of the modernized operation the rest of the day. The new operation sports a new in-pit ore crusher, a new grinding and flotation plant, a five-mile overland ore conveyer system, and three slurry pipelines.
The new structures represent a $400 million investment. Kennecott closed in 1985 because the price of copper had fallen below the cost of production. Other operations through the country were beset with the same crisis. Most closed and stayed closed.
The Utah operation is one of the few worldwide to emerge from the disastrous world market a leaner and more aggressive operation.
Congratulations to BP Minerals for having the vision and commitment to revitalize Utah copper operations. May the renewed company thrive as heartily and as long the legendary phoenix flourished in the deserts of Egypt.