Slide Occurs At Kennecott; Visit Center Closed Indefinitely
|Ravell Call, Deseret News
A massive slide occurred today at the Kennecott open pit mine in the mountains southwest of Salt Lake City. The company had been monitoring ground movement and anticipated the slide. No one was injured.
The mine is enormous – it is one of the largest man made holes on earth. It has been in operation for more than 109 years and is one of Utah's largest employers. Copper is the main product but many other minerals are also recovered.
The view into the mine from the rim is impressive. A visitor center on the rim has welcomed Utahns and tourists alike for many year. The visitor center has provided detailed information about the mine, its history, and how the company is working to be a responsible community partner and land steward.
The visitor center is normally open from April through October. A small entrance fee has been charged, with all proceeds going toward charitable work.
When officials detected the land movement they decided not to open the visitor center at all this season. That proved to be a wise decision. Had there been people at the visitor center today they would have been in danger.
The Deseret News has this article about the slide. It is illustrated with 36 amazing photos that show the mine and the huge ground movement.
Officials say they are working to have some kind of visitor facility available for 2014.