Kennecott mine makeover to improve view along Salt Lake Valley

Local News

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (News4Utah) The south-eastern edge of the Bingham Canyon Mine will look completely different after a $150 million reclamation project by Rio Tinto Kennecott. 
     
“The end goal is that it is going to look much more natural much like the surrounding hillside,” Rio Tinto Spokesperson Kyle Bennett said. 

Decades worth of waste rock is piled up next to one of the world’s largest copper mines. 

Since 2015, 400 acres have been reclaimed by moving 350 million tons of waste rock. The project is just 25 percent finished. 

“We made a commitment to do this two to three years ago and to see the progress we are making right now is really special for us,” Bennett said. 

After putting down three and a half feet of a topsoil mixture, native seeds are shot onto the slopes to help erosion and control dust. 

“We are starting to get to the point where we know how this works,” project manager Zeb Kenyon said, after about 20 years of testing. 

About 1,200 acres are set to be reclaimed in the next seven to ten years. 

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