A wall slide on the northeast wall of Kennecott Utah Copper’s Bingham Canyon Mine in Salt Lake City, UT forced the evacuation of employees, but did not cause any injuries or fatalities.
Preemptive measures were taken leading up to the slide and all employees were safe and accounted for on April 11, according to a statement at the Kennecott Utah Copper web site.
The Bingham Canyon mine is one of the biggest producers of copper in the United States.
Kennecott Utah Copper, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto, said in a statement that it will evaluate the impact of the slide on the northeast wall of the mine in the coming days.
The company a day earlier said it had been closely monitoring ground movement at the mine in anticipation of a slide and had taken steps to reduce the possible affect on production by relocating buildings, roads and heavy machinery. At the start of the month it said a visitor center that was closed for the winter wouldn't reopen as planned in 2013 due to ground movement.
Rio Tinto's Kennecott Utah Copper unit located near Salt Lake City produced about 163 kt (179,000 st) of refined metal in 2012 plus 8.6 t (279,000 oz) of gold and 9.4 kt (10,300 st) of molybdenum. The company last June approved spending US$660 million to extend the life of the Bingham Canyon mine to 2029 from 2018.