TMS Awards 2023Bühler GmbHTBA GroupSailors SocietyGeneva DryPort of South Louisiana
  • Cimbria
  • Van Aalst
  • Geneva Dry
  • TBA Group
  • TMS Awards 2023
  • Vigan

Rio Tinto progresses studies for underground mining at Kennecott

Rio Tinto progresses studies for underground mining at Kennecott

(Posted on 26/07/21)

Rio Tinto has approved a $108 million investment in underground development to enable early orebody access and undertake orebody characterisation studies for underground mining at the Kennecott copper operations in the United States.

The investment builds on $25 million approved in early-2020 to complete a pre-feasibility study to determine the viability of underground mining operations at Kennecott. Potential underground mining would occur concurrently with open pit operations and result in increased copper output.

Kennecott holds the potential for a significant and attractive underground development, with declared Mineral Resources of 20 Mt at 3.65% copper and 1.62 g/t gold1 with further upside potential based on drilling.

The feasibility study work will focus on gathering critical geological, geotechnical and hydrogeological data to inform Rio Tinto’s assessment of underground development options and is expected to be completed in 2024. Existing infrastructure from previous underground projects will be extended to access the North Rim Skarn orebody, allowing for the development of crosscuts and further drilling of the resource. The project includes approximately 15,000 feet (4,500 metres) of lateral development, 1,000 feet (300 metres) of vertical development and associated support infrastructure.

The project will also include the trial of underground battery electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions at Kennecott and across Rio Tinto’s global operations. Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions will supply a battery electric haul truck and loader to evaluate performance and suitability for future underground mining fleets.

Pre-feasibility studies are also being progressed to extend open pit mining at Kennecott beyond 2032, with a further push back of the North Wall to allow access to Mineral Resources. This follows a $1.5 billion investment in the second phase of the South Wall Pushback project, approved in 2019, to allow open cut mining to continue between 2026 and 2032.

Rio Tinto Copper Chief Executive Bold Baatar said: “Kennecott holds a range of options to extend our supply of copper and other critical materials, to meet the strong demand being driven by electric vehicles and renewable power technologies.

“The operation is uniquely positioned to supply these emerging markets, with one of only two operating smelters in the United States that also processes concentrates from third parties, a long history delivering high quality products and significant resources that are yet to be developed.”

Latest News

ADM offers segregated, traceable soybean meal to European customers

(Posted on 12/07/24)

ADM, a global leader in innovative solutions from nature, has announced that it is offering fully verified... Read more


Rio Tinto to install carbon free aluminium smelting cells

(Posted on 04/07/24)

Rio Tinto will install carbon free aluminium smelting cells at its Arvida smelter in Québec,... Read more


Moonbound appoints ASL for long-term South African lithium logistics project

(Posted on 28/06/24)

Moonbound Mining Ltd. has appointed Adhira Shipping and Logistics (ASL) as its logistics contractor... Read more


ADM and Bayer collaboration help farmers achieve lower carbon emissions

(Posted on 19/06/24)

 ADM and Bayer have announced an extension of their collaboration, working with farmers in a bid... Read more


US House appropriations bill includes reinstatement of NASS reports

(Posted on 14/06/24)

A House appropriations subcommittee in the USA has approved its Fiscal Year 2025 bill that includes... Read more


Rio Tinto to acquire Mitsubishi’s stake in Boyne aluminium smelter

(Posted on 14/06/24)

Rio Tinto has agreed to acquire Mitsubishi Corporation’s 11.65% interest in Boyne Smelters Ltd... Read more


Richards Bay Minerals’ renewable energy agreement

(Posted on 07/06/24)

Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) has signed a renewable power purchase agreement (PPA) with Khangela Emoyeni... Read more


Trafigura half year result show core business strength

(Posted on 07/06/24)

Trafigura Group Pte Ltd, a market leader in the global commodities industry, has released its 2024 Half... Read more


New Zealand aluminium smelter’s future secured with power deals

(Posted on 01/06/24)

New Zealand Aluminium Smelters (NZAS) has signed 20-year electricity arrangements that secure the future... Read more


NGFA statement on farm bill advanced by House Ag Committee

(Posted on 31/05/24)

The House Agriculture Committee in the USA have advanced a farm bill that includes several important... Read more


Van AalstCimbriaPort of StocktonViganTelestack
  • Port of South Louisiana
  • Port of Stockton
  • Bühler GmbH

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping