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Copper|Exploration|Gold|Health|Infrastructure|Mining|PROJECT|Resources|Underground|Drilling|Infrastructure|Operations
copper|exploration|gold|health|infrastructure|mining|project|resources|underground|drilling|infrastructure|operations

Kennecott copper mine expansion, US – update

AERIAL VIEW OF THE KENNECOTT MINE

Photo by Copyright © 2023 Rio Tinto

26th April 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Kennecott copper mine expansion.

Location
Near Salt Lake City, Utah, in the US.

Project Owner/s
Rio Tinto.

Project Description
Rio Tinto aims to strengthen its supply of copper in the US by increasing production from underground mining and improving the health of key assets in an area known as the North Rim Skarn (NRS).

The NRS has indicated mineral resources of 10.8-million tonnes at 2.93 % copper, 1.20 g/t gold, 65.97 g/t silver and 0.008% molybdenum. Inferred mineral resources of 7.7-million tonnes are estimated at 3.13 % copper, 0.96 g/t gold, 18.41 g/t silver, and 0.005 % molybdenum identified, based on additional drilling and an initial probable ore reserve of 3-million tonnes at 2.39 % copper, 1.77 g/t gold, 18.59 g/t silver and 0.010 % molybdenum.

The project is expected to deliver about 250 000 t of additional mined copper over the next ten years alongside opencut operations.

Rio Tinto has indicated that, as the above production target is in part underpinned by inferred resources, there is a low level of geological confidence associated with inferred mineral resources and there is no certainty that further exploration work will result in the determination of indicated mineral resources or that the production target will be realised.

Studies to inform decisions on the next phases of expanding underground production continue in parallel with work that is being advanced to extend openpit mining at Kennecott beyond 2032.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
$498-million.

Planned Start/End Date
Rio Tinto has reported in its first quarter results for the period ended March 31, 2024, that production from the NRS is forecast to start about mid-2025 (previously the first quarter of 2025), following updates to Rio Tinto’s controls after ground fall events.

Latest Developments
The first stope of the lower commercial skarn was blasted in March. This marks Kennecott's return to underground production after more than 40 years.

Meanwhile, activities continued on the NRS underground development and infrastructure.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Rio Tinto (Kennecott), tel + 801 204 2000 or email media.enquiries@riotinto.com.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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