Sunday, November 06, 2016

April 7, 2016
By Dennis Romboy

Bingham Canyon — Kennecott Utah Copper (click here) has eyes all over its vast Bingham Canyon Mine looking for any potentially dangerous movement of the earth.

Some 400 workers on any given shift are trained to spot geotechnical hazards, whether driving massive dump trucks above ground or mining ore below. But the company deploys a wide array of high-tech instruments to cover the 2 3/4-mile wide, 3/4-mile deep pit in the southwest corner of the Salt Lake Valley.

Radars, GPS trackers, prisms, extensometers, reflectometers and piezometers work in concert to detect the slightest movement — down to hundredths of an inch — or trickle of groundwater. The strategically positioned devices generate round-the-clock data for engineers to analyze in an effort to protect lives.

Kennecott is also testing drones for taking a three-dimensional photo of the open-pit mine and dropping monitors in places where workers can't reach. The 113-year-old mine is the largest man-made excavation in the world.

"We're constantly doing monitoring with our plethora of systems," said David Meador, mine operations manager. "Really, the aim in most of our response plans are around ensuring there's no one in the area well in advance."...

The landslide at Bingham couldn't be better. The land if finally filling the mine. While the landslide is extremely dangerous the land has to be returned to some degree of stability with canyon walls supported by the earth and not air. One of the reason there needs to be a return to stability of open pit mines, especially in the USA is because Oklahoma's fracking industry has caused a greater instability in the North Craton.

April 11, 2016
By McKenzie Romero and Andrew Adams

Bingham Canyon (click here) — What started as movement measuring only fractions of an inch at Kennecott Utah Copper's Bingham Canyon Mine became the biggest slide Ted Himebaugh has seen in his 36 years with the company.

Himebaugh, Kennecott's general manager of operation readiness, said the size and depth of the slide that occured Wednesday night is still unknown. After effectively preparing for the slide and preventing any injury, teams are beginning to assess its impact before they can determine when workers will return.
"Our primary goal now is to determine how we can safely resume operations and provide not only the jobs for the people but money to the state of Utah and economy," he said. "We've got to do that (safely), and that's probably the No. 1 thing that would slow anything down. … We will not take a risk."...

USGS should be a part of a team that plans more landslides with the assistance of well placed dynamite where possible.

November 6, 2016

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake (click here) has shaken central Oklahoma, causing damage to some structures.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported the earthquake struck at 7:44 p.m. CST, with an epicenter located one mile west of Cushing, about 50 miles northeast of Oklahoma City.

The USGS initially stated it was a magnitude 5.3 earthquake but lowered that rating to 5.0.

The quake was felt as far away as Kansas City, Missouri, and Little Rock, Arkansas....

...The Cushing Police Department reported "quite of bit of damage" from the earthquake but details were not immediately available. Photos posted to social media show piles of debris at the base of commercial buildings in the city....