What is the future of the Bingham Canyon mine?

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  • Rio Tinto Kennecott South Jordan, UT
    July 10, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    At Kennecott, we accept our responsibility to reclaim land disturbed by mining activities, and we have a long track record of successfully reclaiming areas no longer needed for mining. An example is the Daybreak community developed on land reclaimed from historic mining operations. We recognize that it is the responsibility of mining companies to provide financial assurance (sometimes called “bonding”) for reclamation and closure of mined lands in a manner that will be protective of the community’s health, safety, and environment. At Kennecott, we have valid financial assurance in place for all of our facilities and this assurance meets legal requirements.

    Kennecott also has fully investigated groundwater impacts from historic operations through a diligent process under federal and state oversight. Kennecott has entered into enforceable, judicially approved agreements to clean up groundwater impacts and has provided separate financial assurance to EPA to assure that this work is completed. Kennecott facilities that have the potential to discharge to groundwater are permitted under Utah’s groundwater protection rules.

    To read about these efforts and more of our environmental work, please visit our website.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 10, 2013 12:52 a.m.

    The future of Kennecott is that it will be a huge eyesore on what used to be a nice looking mountain.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 9, 2013 3:00 p.m.

    What constitutes a "comment" when responding to those who want to close down Kennecott? You can't talk about their use of copper. You can't remind them that without copper they wouldn't be able to do write a comment or that do their household chores or drive their cars. You can't tell them that without copper, they would live in a cave.

    None of that is allowed.

    Why is it not allowed? Who made the moderators responsible for truth? They can let people tell us that we're all doomed if we don't believe that Kennecott must return the mountain to its original state. They can let people tell us that Kennecott is somehow responsible for all our ailments, but they won't let anyone refute them.

    Unfortunately, moderators don't own the newspaper. The way to fix that problem is to copy all comments to those who pay the bills.

    People who use copper benefit from Kennecott. They can complain all that they want AFTER they have removed all copper from their lives.

  • ingslc salt lake city, UT
    July 9, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    So I can't demand that Kennecott clean up its act until I choose to live like a caveman? That's ridiculous. Businesses exist to serve people. They provide money and jobs and services, but businesses are not OUR masters. We are THEIR masters. What will Kennecott do? Take its mountain and mine it somewhere else? Of course not. And I believe that if they wish to do business in our beautiful valley, they need to clean up their mess. Everyone in the valley deserves that much. AND just to be clear: I fully support a state that is "business-friendly." BUT the state also needs to be "people friendly," and that sometimes means putting limits on pollution and properly enforcing those limits. Mining IS certainly important and I fully support mining, BUT it must be responsible. Having no exit plan is NOT responsible. By failing to demand responsibility, we are selling out our beautiful valley and its families and ending up with very little to show for it when all is said and done.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 9, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    We have a serious problem in our society. People are pointing fingers at others while they enjoy all the benefits produced by "others". People tell us that we can only travel 55 mph on "their" roads, roads which we have all paid for. They ban "truck traffic". They don't want the noise. They don't want the traffic. But, they shop at the same stores. They buy the same goods that all of us buy that were brought to us by that truck traffic.

    We have people sitting at their computers, using electricity generated by "foul and offensive" generators, people who drive their "gas guzzlers" to buy the things that they want and need, people who watch TV or "facetime" with their friends or relatives, people who sit in comfort in their "air conditioned" homes telling us that Kennecott is the source of our "problems". They refuse to see that THEY are the source of "our" problems. They are the consumers. They demand that they have the electricity to do the things that they want.

    Kennecott is NOT the problem. Get over it. Shut off everything that you own that contributes. Become a "caveman".

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    July 9, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    If you really don't see the difference Mike then there isn't much I can say to make you change your opinion.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 9, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    If you're serious about "clean up" and "responsibility, what assets have you pledged to "clean up" your yard. Eventually your house will become obsolete. How much money have you put aside to demolish that house and to return your lot to "original" conditions?

    People who demand that others "clean up" and then do nothing to insure that they will personally clean up the mess that they leave behind are bashing business. Everyone of us leaves a footprint. Everyone of us who drives a car is contributing to pollution. Everyone of us who uses electricity is contributing to pollution. Everyone of us who uses heating and cooling is contributing to pollution.

    Until those who create pollution stops their person pollution, they have nothing to say about a business that meets all standards for pollution control.

    Pointing fingers does not solve problems. Turn off your car, your electricity, your sewer, and then tell us what we need to do.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    July 9, 2013 10:05 a.m.

    I was just up in the Mineral Basin area this morning, and the legacy of our pioneers still remains, lots of old abandoned mines dotting the landscape. Apparently mining without cleaning up is a proud Utah tradition.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    July 9, 2013 10:00 a.m.

    I've always wondered what the plan is when Kennecot eventually closes. It will close eventually, and what happens then? Apparently I had good reason to wonder, because it sounds like they don't know either, nor has any money been set aside for such a purpose.

    I am not against mining, it provides valuable materials for our society. It also provides many great jobs to our communities. I am however against mining without a clear plan in place for reclaiming the land when the mining is done. We shouldn't just pass the buck onto our children and grand children. Once again Utah demonstrates it puts corporate interests above those of it's citizens.

  • ingslc salt lake city, UT
    July 9, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    @Mike Richards - This OP-ED does not imply that the sky is falling or that Kennecot is an irresponsible company. It simply points out the hard truth - when the mine closes, as all mines eventually must, Kennecott is currently not obligated to clean up what is left behind. Mines that are not properly maintained or cleaned up will poison the population. Clean up costs money. The company that profited for so many years should be responsible for the clean up, not the tax payers. This is a strictly economic argument. BUT economics aside, Kennecott DOES pollute A LOT. Our children and grandchildren already pay for that with their health, maybe we can at least fix it so they don't have to shoulder the economic burden of cleaning up. To state that the mine doesn't pollute our air and water only just ignores all data, even our own data from the DEQ. Just because they have permits, doesn't mean that they don't pollute.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    July 9, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    The sky is not falling. Kennecott is not closing the mine. Kennecott is a responsible company doing responsible things. It is not poisoning us. We don't have to wear respirators. We don't have to filter our water. We don't have to raise our kids in a "bubble".