Bingham Canyon Mine

Location Magna, UT

Client Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation

Services Estimating & Cost Management

Project Value N/A

Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation owns and operates the Bingham Canyon Mine, an open-pit copper mine southwest of Salt Lake City. Over its operating history, the mine has yielded more than 12 million tons of copper metal. Approximately two-thirds of Utah’s annual mineral production is from the Bingham Canyon Mine. 

For the second phase of the modernization program, Kennecott planned to improve concentrator capacity, as well as design and construct a new smelter and refinery facilities. Part of this phase, the Tailings Modernization Project transitioned existing tailings storage operations to an area north of the existing impoundment (referred to as the North Expansion). The existing impoundment had to be modernized because historic tailings management practices limited its operational storage capacity, and recent studies had added to the understanding of seismologic conditions in the Salt Lake Valley. 

Although the existing impoundment was stable under non-earthquake conditions, it had to be upgraded to take seismicity into consideration. The proposed North Expansion consisted of a 40,000 LF embankment, which provided approximately 3,300 acres of additional impoundment area. The project upgraded the northern segments of the existing embankment and required the relocation or removal of existing facilities, two Union Pacific Railroad mainline tracks, and utilities that crossed the site. 

Hill was responsible for managing contract negotiations for the expansion. Hill was also responsible for managing the claims process, including investigating, providing technical analyses, determining outcomes, and making recommendations. In addition, Hill’s team managed cost estimating activities, as well as budgeting and scheduling activities for the new construction projects.