Kennecott prepares for slide at Bingham Canyon Mine

Posted at 2:39 PM, Apr 10, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-10 19:43:43-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Kennecott Utah Copper has observed increasing ground movement, and they anticipate a slide that will require relocating employees, machinery, utilities and other assets for safety reasons.

When the Bingham Canyon Mine's visitor center closed on April 1, the ground was moving about 1/20 of an inch a day. By Wednesday, it was moving about 2 inches a day, and experts anticipate the slide will happen within a week.

The exact timing of the slide is unknown, but Kennecott says it will be contained within the Bingham Canyon Mine.

In anticipation of the slide, employees and equipment have been moved out of areas close to a potential slide.

The biggest concern for employees at the mine is that jobs relying on copper production could be furloughed as a result of the slide.

"I think at this point until we see what happened that's just total speculation," said Kennecot spokesman Kyle Bennett. "We're operating off of a modified plan. And we're going to continue to do that until we see this happen, and then we can assess what it looks like and how we move forward."

Kennecott has laser, radar and seismic systems monitoring the ground at all times.