Kennecott Utah Copper's Bingham Canyon Mine Collapsed

pmbug

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Oh wow. Glad to see that no injuries were reported. They've got a huge operation going there. As much as it impacts gold and silver mining, it's likely going to have a huge impact on copper too.
 

wizdood

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The slide occurred wed night,the boyz knew the extent of the damage thurs.
Hence the thur and fri smackdown.
 

MasterQ

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Right.....smackdown shortages...

Um..I'm going back to school to slap the shit out of my economics professor.

Supply/Demand is bullshit!

heehee

-Q
 

wizdood

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Did a search on CNN=nothing.
Searched CBS=nothing
Searched NBC= Small article 2 graphs long,no mention of supply issues.

Silver Docs comes out with story 3 days after slide happens.

Harvey,nothing.
Zerohedge search=nothing.

Ya think this would be kind of a big story but 10% loss of domestic supply aint nothin to worry about. Crazy.
 

pmbug

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Mineweb had an article on Friday (two days ago):
Kennecott Utah Copper said a massive landslide Wednesday night along a geotechnical fault line of the Bingham Canyon Mine, one of the world’s largest mines, in Magna, Utah, USA, about 22 miles from Salt Lake City, was anticipated.

“Movement along the north eastern wall had accelerated in recent weeks and pre-emptive measures were taken to relocate facilities and roads prior to the slide,” said Kennecott in a news release Thursday.
...
An old truck shop was partially swept away while equipment stationed at the bottom of the mine pit to help remove debris was trapped when the slide buried about two-thirds of the bottom of the pit.

Mine managers anticipated a surface area a couple of thousand feet wide and just as tall was likely to move, but the slide traveled deeper into the mine pit than anticipated, Kennecott General Manager of Operation Readiness, told the Deseret News.

“Our experts will evaluate the extent of the movement over the coming days and ascertain the degree of impact to production,” said Kennecott. “Contingency plans are in place to manage mine operations in the short and long term according to the impact.

In the meantime, all mining has been halted at Bingham Canyon where 163,000 tonnes of copper, 279,000 ounces of gold, and 9,400 tonnes of molybdenum were mined last year. Last year parent company Rio Tinto had approved spending US$660 million over the next seven years to extend the life of the mine from 2018 to 2029.
http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/content/en//page36?oid=185905&sn=Detail

Sounds like they will have some mining operations continue. It's not clear what the exact impact will be.
 

swissaustrian

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That's roughly 5% of gobal annual silver mine production or 155.5 tonnes.
That is a big deal.

The road into the pit is totally destroyed:


 

bushi

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...wow... would love to witness it with my own eyes, from a safe distance! Must've been majestic
 

bushi

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...delivering "one of these" to the bottom of the pit might take a while, though ;)

"the spice must flow"
 

ancona

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+1 Mike.

Hahahaha.....Look at that little dot at the bottom of the machine. Oh wait.......that's the operator!
 

pmbug

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Kennecott Utah Copper is waiting for clearance from federal regulators to send experts inside an open-pit copper mine to assess the damage caused by a massive landslide, company officials said.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration blocked access to the nearly mile-deep Bingham Canyon Mine after issuing an order suspending operations following the Wednesday night slide. There were no injuries.

A time frame for resuming work in one of the world's deepest open pits hasn't been determined, said Kyle Bennett, spokesman for Rio Tinto's Utah Kennecott Copper.

About 900 employees won't be able to return to work until access is granted and cleanup begins at the mine, about 20 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.

"The size of the slide was significant," Bennett said. "We don't have information yet regarding the magnitude or impact. We do know that the flow into the pit extended beyond the scenarios forecasted, having a greater impact on equipment."

Kennecott officials think it might take as long as two years to dig out, said Dell Garner, heavy haul truck driver at the mine. He called the size of the slide shocking.

"They figured it was going to be 250 million tons. They think it's probably double that," Garner told KSL. "We expected it to come down to the bottom and stop there, and not come clear through the entire bottom. All of that is waste materials. It's not ore."

Ted Himebaugh, Kennecott's general manager of operation readiness, estimated two-thirds of the bottom of the pit was buried. He said any estimates about the size of the slide or cleanup timelines are speculation.
...
http://www.heraldextra.com/news/sta...cle_dfed4629-c725-55a6-934c-b168106b9e07.html
 

pmbug

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Revisiting this statement from the Mineweb article referenced above:
... In the meantime, all mining has been halted at Bingham Canyon where ... 279,000 ounces of gold ... were mined last year. ...
279K troy ounces = ~9.5 tons. The mine's annual gold production is roughly equivalent to the amount of gold that the media reports Cyprus is being forced to sell.
 

pmbug

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Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper expects to begin transporting copper ore to the concentrator at its Bingham Canyon mine in the next few days, after a landslide forced it to stop operations.

A spokesman for the company said crushers, tunnels and the conveyor system had now been checked and were found to be unaffected by the landslide earlier this month.

"We anticipate being able to start transporting ore to the concentrator in the next few days. Clearly it will be at significantly reduced volumes," he said on Friday.

Rio had been forced to invoke force majeure with respect to contracts with copper cathode and sulphuric acid customers, and the company said that remained in place.

Rio said at the time of its first-quarter production statement that it expects Kennecott's 2013 copper production to be reduced by about 100,000 tonnes because of the slide.

Kennecott is the second-largest copper producer in the United States. Bingham Canyon, one of the world's largest open pits, produced 163,200 tonnes of copper last year, as well as 200,000 ounces of gold.
http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/content/en//mineweb-fast-news?oid=187911&sn=Detail

So copper production will be reduced by ~61%. Assuming that ratio has a 1-1 correspondence with gold (a byproduct of the copper mining), gold production will fall from 200,000 ounces to ~77,400 ounces.
 

pmbug

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RIO Tinto has cut about 100 jobs at its copper operation in Utah and warned further positions will be cut later this month as it moves to reduce operating costs after a large part of the pit wall collapsed at its Bingham Canyon mine last month.
The London-based company's Kennecott Utah Copper unit in a statement said it continued to take steps to reduce the impact on its workforce and doesn't yet have a figure for the total number of employees who will be affected. It has offered workers the opportunity to take vacation, unpaid leave or a one-time $US20,000 resignation incentive for retirement.

Further changes to reduce operating costs will be needed in the coming months as plans are finalised, it said.

Rio Tinto in mid-April estimated more than 165 million tonnes of earth had slid into the open pit mine, which would reduce planned copper production by about 50 per cent this year. ...

The Kennecott unit produces about 17 per cent of copper supplies in the US. ...
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/bus...-to-cut-100-jobs/story-e6frg9df-1226649894319
 

pmbug

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Kennecott Utah’s Bingham Canyon Mine returned to full operations late Thursday afternoon after officials checked a small amount of ground movement in the same area where a massive landslide took place on April 10th.

The latest movement was detected by monitoring systems and a heavy equipment operation at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the upper portion of the northeast wall where one of North America’s largest landslides took place in April, which sent 165 million tons of earth and rock into the massive mine pit.

Wednesday’s movement was about as wide as a football field and moved about 500 feet, according to a Kennecott Utah news release. One hundred employees and contractors were evacuated from Bingham Canyon after the movement was detected as mining operations were halted until 5 p.m. Thursday.
...
http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/content/en//mineweb-base-metals?oid=204807&sn=Detail

Yikes. Looks like the mine is somewhat unstable...
 

rblong2us

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wonder what they mean by 'full operations' ?

before the big slip last april or before the latest slip which only effected the clearup crew .... ?

so easy to mislead when using weasel words.
 

pmbug

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I took it to mean the same level of operations as were in effect prior to detecting the ground movement and evacuating the 100 peeps.
 
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