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Utah copper mine suspends operations after large landslide

Photos by Ravell Call / The Deseret News via AP

The Kennecott Copper Bingham Canyon Mine sits quiet after a landslide on April 11, 2013, in Bingham Canyon, Utah. Kennecott has suspended mining inside one of the world's deepest open pits as geologists assess a landslide the company says it anticipated for months.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

"We started noticing movement in that part of the mine in February," Rio Tinto-Kennecott spokesman Kyle Bennett said, indicating at that time the mine’s wall was slipping a fraction of an inch each day.

As the slipping continued and began to accelerate in the following weeks, Kennecott moved workers out of the area, utility lines were rerouted and the modular building that housed the mine monitoring equipment was relocated to safer ground. Kennecott also closed its visitors center for the rest of the year.

Bennett said the company has not yet determined the exact size of the slide. He said mining experts would be evaluating the slide area and its impact on future operations.

Dump trucks sit under debris in the Kennecott Copper Bingham Canyon Mine after a landslide in Bingham Canyon, Utah.

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