Rio Tinto’s Kennecott copper project in Utah Credit: Rio Tinto
UTAH – Rio Tinto has announced a US$1.5 billion investment over the next six years to extend production at its Kennecott copper operation to 2032.
The funds will allow for development of the second phase of the South Wall Pushback project by funding waste rock stripping and additional infrastructure development.
The additional investment is expected to commence in 2020.
Based on this announcement, the company expects to deliver approximately 1 million tonnes of refined copper between 2026 and 2032. It also anticipates additional exploration during this time.
The previously announced US$900 million first phase of the South Wall Pushback project is expected to be completed in 2021, extending production from 2019 to 2026.
In 2018, the Kennecott operations produced 194,700 tonnes of refined copper. The operations include the Bingham Canyon mine as well as one of the three smelters in the U.S.
Rio Tinto acquired Kennecott in 1989.
““Kennecott is uniquely positioned to meet strong demand in the United States and delivers almost 20 per cent of the country’s copper production” said J-S Jacques, Rio Tinto chief executive. “Kennecott will be supplying customers across North America with products that are not only produced in the region but responsibly mined with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.”
For more information, visit www.RioTinto.com.