Utah copper mine landslide will hurt state economy

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Associated Press

Posted on April 25, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 25 at 2:07 PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The chief executive of a major U.S. copper mine hopes to recover quickly from a landslide that piled waste rock inside the pit near Salt Lake City.

Kennecott Utah Copper chief Kelly Sanders says the company might be able to resume limited ore digging within days, but the cleanup will take months.

The company says it will run out of copper for customers in the months ahead.

Sanders spoke to news organizations Thursday on a rim of Bingham Canyon mine, an open pit nearly a mile deep that was piled 300 feet high with landslide debris.

Company officials say 165 million tons of waste rock and dirt slid down a wall of the pit April 10.

Experts say it could be a blow to Utah's economy in the short term.

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