About 100 employees at Kennecott Utah Copper have been laid off as a result of last month’s slide at the Bingham Canyon Mine. Kennecott spokesperson Kyle Bennett says the layoffs affected employees across the ranks of the mine’s salaried workforce. None were union employees, though he says some hourly workers will have to be let go before the end of the month.
Kennecott Utah Copper is making plans to get the Bingham Canyon mine back in operation after a huge landslide two weeks ago. Company spokesperson Kyle Bennett says they have a 40-day plan to look at containing costs but also keeping the ore moving to the smelting and refining facilities.
The early estimates of the size of the Bingham Canyon mine slide show that more than 165 million tons of rock and dirt have slid into the bottom of the mine. That makes this slide the largest to ever happen there. Kennecott Utah Copper spokesperson, Kyle Bennett, says it will have a large impact on their yearly copper production.
"The 165 million ton slide does translate, unfortunately, into a reduced production of refined and mined copper of about 50 percent,” he says.
Ground movement at the Bingham Canyon Mine resulted in a landslide last night. The slide occurred around 9:30 p.m. on the North side of the mine near where the visitor’s center was previously located. Kennecott Utah Copper spokesman Kyle Bennett says all employees at the mine are safe and accounted for. All work at the mine has also been suspended until geotechnical experts get a better assessment of the situation.
The air pollution that we can see suspended in the cold air trapped during Utah’s infamous temperature inversions is called PM 2.5 – particulate matter 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller. Just how much of that comes from large industrial polluters is a subject of some dispute, along with just what should be done about it. Dan Bammes has the third in our series of reports on Clearing the Air.