The Kennecott pit mine is truly something to behold, I recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the valley here! The trucks weigh roughly 463,000 pounds and an improved model produced over 3,500hp from their twin-turbo diesel engines! The company avoided regulatory issues of being on the NPL by voluntarily cleaning up the contaminated lands, the Superfund Alternative Approach. In 1906 Kennecott Mines Company was formed, which later became Kennecott Copper Corporation. The operational and environmental cleanup activities at Kennecott Utah Copper LLC’s (Kennecott) Bingham Canyon Mine, Copperton Concentrator, Smelter, Refinery, Tailings Facility and the various ancillary facilities are regulated under a number of federal and State programs with authority to oversee the work pursued by Kennecott and other third parties. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Important in the formation of the copper industry in the late nineteenth century were Enos A. A selective flotation step separates the molybdenite (molybdenum disulfide) from the chalcopyrite. Insofar as necessary to a proper determination of the issues involved, the facts are as follows: The Kennecott Copper Corporation is a New York corporation doing business in this and other states. The camp and mines are now a National Historic Landmark District administered by the National Park Service. By 1980, when Lark was dismantled, only Copperton, at the mouth of Bingham Canyon and with a population of 800, remained. Kennecott Utah Copper LLC (KUC), a division of Rio Tinto Group, is a mining, smelting, and refining company. Pioneering materials thatare essential to human progressGET ALL THE FACTS ABOUT COPPER Kennecott takes copper further As pioneers in mining and metals, we produce materials essential for human progress. Utah Copper immediately began construction of a pilot mill at Copperton,[9] just beyond the mouth of the canyon, and the company actually started mining in 1906. [20][21] It is one of the top producing copper mines in the world with production at more than 18.7 million short tons (16.7 million long tons; 17.0 Mt). The copper operations at Bingham Canyon Mine are managed through Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation which operates the mine, a concentrator plant, a smelter, and a refinery. It is located beside the Kennicott Glacier, northeast of Valdez, inside Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The mountains just to the northeast of the present mine site of Kennecott display a well-defined contact line apparent at about the 6,000 foot elevation. Among the 30-year veterans were trackman Felix Gonzales and tram operator Juventino Ramirez. For example, in April 1958 a special awards dinner honored those with 20 and 30 years of service with Utah Copper. [9]:61–62[10], Enos Andrew Wall started working claims in 1887. The mine has been in production since 1906, and has resulted in the creation of a pit over 0.75 miles (1,210 m) deep,[5] 2.5 miles (4 km) wide, and covering 1,900 acres (3.0 sq mi; 7.7 km2). Destroyed in the … Rio Tinto has been studying a plan to extend the open pit 1,000 feet (305 m) southward, which would extend the life of the mine into the mid-2030s. By 1904, there were three large copper smelters and one lead smelter in the Salt Lake valley. In addition to those in Utah, operations existed in New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. The Kennecott Copper Corporation lured workers to this isolated Alaskan mining camp with higher salaries than any mine in the lower 48 offered. Last year 237,000 tons of copper, 379,000 ounces of gold and 3.2 million ounces of silver were mined from Kennecott. The sulfur dioxide gas emissions from the smokestacks caused significant crop damage to neighboring crops. [12] On the basis that the mine's steep walls made it a high risk for landslides, an interferometric radar system had been previously installed to monitor the ground's stability. Latinos at the Kennecott Copper Mine. Copper production from this low-grade material reduced the mine’s output in 2015 by nearly 55 percent from the already modest 2014 production. Careers Rio Tinto Kennecott strives to provide its employees with more than just a great place to work. [7][8], It was not until September 17, 1863, that extraction of ore began and the potential of the canyon's mineral resources began to be widely recognized. University of Utah Press, This page was last edited on 4 December 2020, at 06:40. April 20, 2016. The mine is owned by Rio-Tinto a British-Australian multinational corporation. They reported their find to their leader, Brigham Young, who advised against pursuing mining operations because the survival and establishment of settlements was of paramount importance at that time. That was when George B. Ogilvie and 23 others "located the West Jordan claim", soon followed by the Vidette claim. The Salt Lake Tribune published a report in 2007 revealing that the company failed to disclose information on possible damages that could occur if the tailings pond collapsed in the event of a major earthquake. [9]:93–94, Another significant development took place in 1903, when Daniel C. Jackling and Enos A. The company has come under scrutiny for the instability of the structure. By 1930s, most of the copper mines were exhausted. In 1995 Kennecott, EPA and the State of Utah signed an agreement saying that Kennecott will continue to clean up the discharge sewage. In 1985 open-pit mining operations were halted by Kennecott's Utah Copper. [33] By 1912, environmental protection organizations were complaining about high levels of asbestos being used in the organization. [5] The mine is owned by Rio Tinto Group, a British-Australian multinational corporation. During the copper strike of 1912 Utah Copper Company brought many Mexican and Mexican American strikebreakers to the Bingham mine. [28], The EPA lists "Kennecott South Zone/Bingham" on its superfund webpage, after it was proposed to be listed as a superfund site in 1994. [27] Activities to clean up 100 years of accumulated impacts began in the 1990s, under state Utah Department of Environmental Quality and federal oversight and are ongoing. No employees were injured in … A big blow to any operation. The 70-percent-copper matte is water-quenched to form a sand-like solid, then injected, with oxygen, into a flash-converting furnace that produces molten, 98.6-percent-pure copper. A chlorination leaching process recovers the gold and silver, which is melted in induction furnaces. Kennecott Corporation was using asbestos for preventing fires since copper processing requires very high temperatures. This is a mining operation that runs 24/7 and the way they work is quite impressive. [37] Both mercury and arsenic are dangerous to health in large quantities. Months ahead of schedule, Rio Tinto Kennecott reopened its main ‘highway,’ called the mine access road, within the Bingham Canyon Mine. [34][35], Kennecott Corporation was also cited as contributing to emissions of heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury. The copper in the area of Kennecott was among the richest deposits ever found and still unique in the world. Unfortunately, the slide cut the production of copper by over 100,000 tons! [26], In 1990, homes that had been built on former flood plains were discovered to be contaminated with high levels of lead and arsenic. Bingham Canyon Mine was featured in the 1973 made-for-TV movie Birds of Prey, with protagonist helicopter pilot Harry Walker (played by David Janssen) piloting his Hughes 500 into the crater to track down three bank robbers and their female hostage in an Aérospatiale SA 315B Lama, which was hiding behind heavy mining machinery. Go inside the world's largest man-made hole! It is a half mile deep and covers 1,900 acres. When you’re talking big equipment, there is really nothing bigger then Rio Tinto Kennecott. The mine is the largest man-made excavation, and deepest open-pit mine in the world,[4][5] which is considered to have produced more copper than any other mine in history – more than 19 million tons. As a result of mine discharge sewage containing large amounts of arsenic and selenium – selenium being particularly toxic to birds, fish and amphibians – about 30% of the fish population were killed in the early 1990s. It was also featured prominently in ''The Fundamentals of Caring''. At first, mining was confined to placer gold, lead-silver and copper-gold. At the refinery, the anode plates are pressed flat and interleaved with stainless steel cathode blanks. According to historian Vicente V. Mayer, most of them did not remain after the settlement of the strike. April 10, 2013 marking the largest non-volcanic landslide in North America taking place in the mine. Then, in 1997, Carter (a professor at Brigham Young University) put forward that the mine discharge of PM10 has caused lung damage to neighboring residents. The pit is designated as a national historic landmark and the structure is even visible to the naked eye from the space shuttle! This igneous event was the source of deposition of gold, silver and other base metals. It happened in the form of two huge rock avalanches at 9:30 p.m. and 11:05 p.m. MDT at Rio Tinto-Kennecott Utah Copper’s open-pit Bingham Canyon Mine, … Mineralization is in a monzonite porphyry. Safety Policies: Kennecott is committed to protecting the health and safety of all employees and visitors. His extensive tunnels and test pits, on his 200 acres, indicated ore containing 2% copper. The copper mine and its related operations account for more than 90 percent of all TRI-listed emissions in Utah. Over the course of Kennecott’s history, from approximately 1905 through 1938, the operation produced over 590,000 tons of copper and 9 … Open-pit mining has its dangers though. [34] Copper has a very high boiling point and also requires use of other chemicals to separate it from other metals and impurities present in the ore. Asbestos has microscopic particles that dispersed into the atmosphere and contributed to illnesses among workers and individuals living near the mines. The pit is designated as a national historic landmark and the structure is even visible to the naked eye from the space shuttle! * The mine is 2-3/4 miles across at the top and 3/4 of a mile deep. Ore is loaded into a fleet of 64 large dump trucks which each carry 255 short tons (228 long tons; 231 t) of ore at a time; the trucks themselves cost about $3 million each. The initial mines were small in caparison but isn’t everything small compared to that, and the mining operations didn’t really scale up until the late 19th century when the open pit operations started to take hold. These trucks can haul over 300 short-tons and was the largest capacity haul truck in Komatsu’s line up until 2008. An engineering report in March 1988, gave information that the tailings dam overshadowing the town of Magna had threat of collapse due to an earthquake and that the billion-ton tailings pond would bury the homes nearby if the tailing pond's embankment failed. •The mine is 2-3/4 miles across at the top and 3/4 of a mile deep. The main stratigraphic rocks in Bingham Canyon are Upper Pennsylvanian sandstones, quartzites, and limestones known as the Bingham Mine Formation in the Oquirrh Group. You could stack two Sears Towers (now known as the Willis Building) on top of each other and still not reach the top of the mine. 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