Massive landslide stops production at Bingham Canyon Mine

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  • E. Zach Lee-Wright Bartlett, TN
    April 15, 2013 1:01 a.m.

    Was the grinding plant and the conveyor head roller (used for underground transport to Magna) affected? The pics show far more damage than the spin indicates. Feeling brave? Hit the Cu futures market Monday AM and line up your retirement. The mine is a step pit. The sides taper out as they go up with "steps" built all the way around the hole. Oh, Jumpyman, the red dirt does not indicate copper - green rock does. One percent ore is decent stuff. Two percent is wonder ore. Depending on damage to the grinding/head roller plant it may take years to get the ore transport speed back to normal (the first big production headache). Re-establishing the step sides and the road system is a safety issue as well as a process problem. The first big loser on this is Hercules Power Co. It will be awhile before the mine's explosive orders get back to normal. The mine does a lot of underground lateral work targeting high value ore but they cannot process it without a working conveyer (which is underground and runs for miles north to the community of Magna). Copper is going UP in price, big time.

  • Gregg Weber SEATTLE, WA
    April 12, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    But instead of picking the stuff up from high up and taking it just a bit further they will have to either pick it up from the bottom and lift it to the top and out, or if the mine floor is at the bottom of the copper ore how about piling up a mountain over the floor?

  • morpunkt Glendora, CA
    April 12, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    Kudos to all involved in assuring the safety of all.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    April 12, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    From the pictures it seems that slide could have turned to the right very easily and destroyed that entire building complex. It did take out part of the highway. Definitely some luck went with the planning and prevention efforts.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    April 12, 2013 10:23 a.m.

    Nice to know that Ma Nature will eventually bury that ugly hole.

  • Runner Chandler, AZ
    April 12, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    A note of recognition should be made for the management team of the mine for taking precautionary measures and ensuring the safety of the employees. Well done to the management team here! The phrase, "we will not take a risk" is something that could and should be emulated by all corporations.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    April 12, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    Maybe the land movements of the past 110 years have impacted on their visitor's center having structural problems and it is not just a landslide involving the mine itself.

    The commercial properties that Kennecott made into residential areas are not that far away.

  • Wayne Rout El Paso, TX
    April 12, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    Congrats to the management and engineers of the mine who were able to detect the risk before it happened thereby avoiding death and injury. This could have been a major disaster.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    April 12, 2013 7:06 a.m.

    A gold star to Rio Tinto for its safety measures. The rest of the mining industry should take notes on how to keep people safe.

  • TripleCrown Santa Ana, CA
    April 11, 2013 9:49 p.m.

    WOW! The size of that landslide is amazing.
    Himebaugh is doing his best to put a positive spin on this disaster, but I think the enormity of this "anticipated" landslide surprised them. Otherwise how do you explain all the damage to buildings, several of the largest trucks in the world, and other mining equipment buried by the slide. Calling the slide "significant" is the understatement of the century!

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    April 11, 2013 9:43 p.m.

    It reminds me of the explosion they showed on TV in the 60s as part of the Kennecott Sunday Night Movie (or some such a title). They showed the crew blasting ore out of the mountain with classical music playing in the background.
    Of course, this landslide was bigger by a factor of 10,000 or so I would guess.
    The photos show the magnitude of the problem. Nice.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    April 11, 2013 9:30 p.m.

    That's awesome looking

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    April 11, 2013 6:56 p.m.

    Beautiful pics!

  • washcomom Beaverton, OR
    April 11, 2013 5:51 p.m.

    Whoosh! It's a good thing that they moved most of the equipment before this happened. Now the building is on a precipice, and is quite a dangerous situation. It clearly shows that you have to start from the bottom and go upwards from there!

    Beautiful photography!

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    April 11, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    Good photo coverage Ravell.

  • Jumpyman Salt Lake City, UT
    April 11, 2013 5:20 p.m.

    There is some good color in that landslide. There ought to be some good our to be mined there.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 11, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    This may be a big hit to the Utah economy.

  • JimmyJackJohnJones Jonestown, TX
    April 11, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    Well on the bright side, they won't have to use explosives to move all that material, which should save them a ton of money. All they have to do now is go scoop it out of the bottom of the pit. Thanks mother nature!