UPDATED: Massive Landslide at Bingham Mine – Is this what Pebble will bring?
UPDATE: Quoted from Dow Jones 4/16/2013
RIO Tinto has asked employees to take vacation or unpaid leave after a massive landslide at its Bingham Canyon mine in Utah’s Salt Lake Valley, one of the world’s largest copper producing mines.
Rio Tinto’s Kennecott Utah Copper unit said it has asked for workers to volunteer to take leave because the operation isn’t running at full capacity.
“The slip has destroyed the main access decline into the pit, so a new decline will need to be constructed before mining can resume. We have no guidance from Rio on how long this will take, but we assume it will be months not weeks,” the bank said in a research report.
[Below is from the story originally written 4/13/2013]
A massive landslide occurred this week at the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah. The landslide, something the mine operators saw coming – still caused massive damage – “No employees were injured, but roads, buildings and vehicles inside the pit have been damaged, Kennecott spokesman Kyle Bennett explained to Deseret News.
[check out 36 more photos of the landslide and it’s after effects at Deseret News]
Bingham is a copper mine that is often compared to the planned mine in the Bristol Bay area by the Pebble Partnership, Pebble Mine. The proposed Pebble Mine would be twice the size of the Bingham Mine.
In a story for The Mudflats, Carl Johnson wrote: “In its May/June 2011 Pebble Partnership Newsletter, the Pebble Partnership touted recent tours with “stakeholders” of the Bingham Canyon Mine in Utah and the Cortez Hills mine of Nevada as examples of how “mines operating under modern regulations are protecting themselves and the environment.”
Pebble Mine will have an earthen containment dam that is 10 square miles wide at the headwaters of the Bristol Bay watershed that will need to last for eternity. If this is what happens at a mine that is currently operational and that has supposedly an ‘excellent’ track record for safety, (unlike the Pebble Partnership companies) what will be done to prevent such a thing from happening at Pebble – which, unlike Bingham is in an active earthquake zone. The landslide itself showed up on the University of Utah seismic recording station at Granite Mountain Vault in Salt Lake City.
According to Trout Unlimited, “The dam and 10-square-mile-wide containment pond [at the Pebble Mine] are intended to hold between 2.5 billion and 10 billion tons of mine waste that Pebble would produce over its lifetime – nearly enough to bury the city of Seattle, WA.”
Hat tip to BLDGBLOG http://bldgblog.blogspot.com/2013/04/bingham-landslide.html