HERRIMAN, Utah (Good Things Utah) – The Rio Tinto Kennecott mine is a world-class, integrated copper mining operation located just outside Salt Lake City, Utah. Kennecott has been mining and processing minerals from the rich ore body of the Bingham Canyon Mine since 1903, and today is one of the top producing mines in the world. The operation includes a concentrator, smelter and refinery and tailings storage facility.
Rio Tinto Kennecott will play a pivotal role in producing the copper to power the electrification of America.
• Kennecott has been producing copper for 120 years, and there is still more copper in the ground to mine.
• Kennecott produces 12 percent of the copper in the US and is the only US producer with a completely integrated supply chain, from the mine to the concentrator to the smelter to the refinery.
• More copper is needed for the energy transition. For example, an estimated 1.9 billion pounds of copper is needed for solar power installation in North America through 2027 and over 5,700 MW of energy capacity has been commissioned across the US.
• The US imports roughly 50 percent of the copper it needs. Forecasts show that could grow to as much as 70 percent in the next decade with the energy transition. Kennecott’s role in supplying domestically produced copper is very important, especially as wit has one of the last two operating copper smelters in the US.
Copper is essential for the energy transition
• Copper is already intrinsic in everyday life: cell phones, computers, wiring in homes—even healthcare (due to the natural antimicrobial properties that reduces infections)
• Copper will play an essential role in the transition to low-carbon due to its use in renewable energy infrastructure, such as solar panels and electric batteries.
- Copper wiring and cabling is needed to build solar power systems, wind farms, and energy storage, such as lithium batteries
- The more electric the source, the more copper is needed. For example, each electric vehicle requires about 200 pounds of copper vs a gas vehicle at 50 pounds
• Copper is considered a sustainable material because it can be recycled over and over for reuse
Kennecott is finding better ways to produce Premier American copper by leading in responsible mining and minimizing our environmental impact.
• Kennecott is not only the second largest copper producer in the US, but one of the cleanest. Since 2019, it’s cut its annual carbon footprint by 65 percent.
• Kennecott retired its Utah Power Plant and began using renewable energy, primarily sourced by wind and solar, to power its smelter and other facilities.
• Kennecott was the first mine in the world to be awarded the Copper Mark, an independent assurance program that certifies our copper production is responsibly produced with the highest environmental and social standards.
• Kennecott’s decarbonization includes new ways of mining, including implementing battery electric vehicles in its underground and a trial of renewable diesel on its haul trucks.
Kennecott is proud to be a community pillar for 120 years and counting, and invites you to see firsthand how mining copper is done.
• The Visitor’s Center is open through October, weather permitting, and tickets can be reserved online.
• Proceeds from ticket sales go to local nonprofits through our Kennecott Charitable Foundation. Applications for funding will also open up in October.
Visit RioTinto.com for more information about the mining industry and Utah’s Kennecott Mine.
Sponsored by Rio Tinto Kennecott.