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calendar   Monday - April 29, 2013

Mother Nature Is Not Helping

Another 2 week old news story I just learned about today.



Massive Landslide Closes Bingham Canyon Mine

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Outside Salt Lake City, Utah. The Bingham Canyon Mine is an open pit mine, the largest in the world. It is more than 3 miles across and nearly a mile deep.

The landslide went off at about 9:30 in the evening on Wednesday, April 11. It was expected: like most modern mines, Bingham has redundant sensor systems (radar, laser, seismic, GPS) that measure ground movement down to the millimeter and give plenty of warning when a collapse is imminent. The mine was evacuated about 12 hours before the landslide, and nobody was hurt.

But the scale of the landslide was a surprise. Approximately 165 million tons of rock shifted, causing a highly localized earthquake measuring 5.1 Richter. It damaged or destroyed roads, power lines, and other infrastructure, and a number of the giant shovels and dump trucks that move ore and waste rock out of the pit.

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[April 13] BINGHAM CANYON — Limited mining activity has resumed at Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine, three days after a massive landslide.

But company officials say the activity is in an area that wasn’t effected by the slide, called “the cornerstone,” and has nothing to do with the actual mining of ore.

Rio Tinto’s Kenecott Utah Copper spokesman Justin Jones said mining of “waste rock” resumed about 1 a.m. Saturday in the southeastern part of the mine. This is rock that is cleared that has no value, to get to the ground that contains ore, he said. It marks the first activity in the mine since the slide Wednesday night.

The massive slide registered as a magnitude 2.4 shake at the University of Utah seismograph station. Pictures taken from KSL Chopper 5 have amazed viewers and readers. But the slide’s exact dimensions had not yet been determined.

On Saturday, Jones said crews still were not allowed to get to the mine floor. The Mine Safety and Health Administration has ordered work in that area stopped until further notice. Jones hoped that crews would be able to get to bottom of the pit by next week.

No further movement of the mine had been recorded as of Saturday.

“It is essential for us to get back to work and get up and running as soon as possible,” Jones said.

Some slope movement had been detected two weeks earlier, enough to cancel the visitor’s season.

The good news, which may or may not last, is that the price of copper has not spiked.

165 million tons of rockfall. The biggest dumptrucks there can carry 400 tons. It’s going to take a long, long time to get this mine cleaned up and back to full operational capacity. Maybe they’ll just start a new pit altogether ... although it’s my understanding that the ore vein is way down at the bottom. This one mine supplies 17% of all the copper in the whole country.


more pics:
http://www.ksl.com/?sid=24748916&nid=460#1
http://www.flickr.com/photos/riotinto-kennecottutahcopper/sets/72157633216160914/with/8637646879/

more coverage:
http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_4525.shtml
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/14/rio-utah-slide-idUSL2N0D10HM20130414
http://fox13now.com/2013/04/23/residents-concerned-about-bingham-mine-access-road/


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/29/2013 at 03:55 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsGuns and Gun Control •  
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