UTAH – Rio Tinto of London, UK, has announced that it will extend the life of its Bingham Canyon open pit copper mine 40 km west of Salt Lake City by investing US$660 million between 2018 and 2029. Average annual output will rise to 180,000 tonnes of copper, 185,000 oz of gold and 13.800 tonnes of molybdenum beginning in 2019.
The investment includes the construction of mine infrastructure and new equipment to support pushing back the south wall of the mine. First ore from the south wall push back, which will be processed through existing mill facilities, is expected in 2017.
Rio Tinto subsidiary and Bingham Canyon mine operator Kennecott Utah Copper is also evaluating underground options for the project that has been an open pit mine for more than 100 years. Work continues on evaluating other projects to expand the tailings impoundment and upgrade the power plant, and obtaining permits for these projects.
More information is posted at Kennecott.com.