Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Slide forces 100 Utah miners from Kennecott pit

Bingham Canyon mine » Nobody is hurt after supervisor, monitors detect ground movement.

First Published Jan 10 2014 07:02 pm • Last Updated Jan 10 2014 10:12 pm

Another, but much smaller landslide Friday at Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine resulted in the evacuation of about 100 workers.

Company spokesman Kyle Bennett said a "minor bench failure," measuring about 150 across and 150 feet tall, occurred about 12:30 p.m. along the northeast face of the gigantic pit.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

It was not too far, he said, from a massive landslide April 10 that filled the bottom of the pit with waste rock about 300 feet deep.

The 100 miners were working to clear more of that debris Friday when a supervisor saw evidence of movement in the terraced wall above them. Monitoring equipment also sensed ground movement, Bennett said, so the company "evacuated everyone from the lower portion, as a precaution."

Those miners were sent home when their afternoon shift ended, he noted, and the evening shift was informed not to come in until contacted. Bennett expected the work call to go out sometime Friday night.

Miners working on the southern end of the pit were not impacted, he added.

"This does happen in open-pit mines, any time you’re dealing with gravity," Bennett said. "Fortunately, we have many levels of protection. Our workers are all trained to observe their surroundings and we have the radar system and can use that data to make real-time decisions."

Earlier this week, University of Utah geophysicists said that two rock avalanches 90 minutes apart on April 10 produced what "probably was the biggest nonvolcanic slide in North America’s modern history."

Their study determined the slides reached a speed of up to 100 mph and triggered 16 small earthquakes, the first time that cause-and-effect has been documented.

The April 10 slide weighed about 165 million tons and moved 2.3 billion cubic feet of rock.

story continues below
story continues below


Twitter: @sltribmikeg

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.