Mining and Landslides

Topics: Rock, Mineral, Bingham Canyon Mine Pages: 2 (515 words) Published: December 5, 2013

Bingham Canyon Copper Mine (Utah)
Jiama Mine (Tibet)

Source/Type of Geological material that moved
Chalcopyrite (copper iron sulfide) Some sedimentary material Mud, rock and debris
1
Slope Conditions
In some of the images it looks that some waste material was dumped on some portions of the slope where the slide happened. It looks like some sedimentary material. Also weathering may have contributed to the failing slopes as the orange color appears to be a lighter color orange There was a large volume of loose rock that had been dumped in the upper portion of the slope due to mining making the slope where the slide happened unstable. 1

Vegetation Conditions
None

Warning Signs of failure prior to event
Yes, there were warning signs. There were signs of the mine’s wall slipping a millimeter or so each day in February. By the day before the slide, it was slipping about 5cm a day. There were no warning signs that were detected that could have prevented this landslide and the disaster it caused. This was a natural disaster caused by thermal expansion of glaciers 1

Consequences: how much moved type of movement (flow,slide,fall) damage estimates, and fatalities Approximately 165 million tons of rock shifted, causing a highly localized earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale. Damaged/Destroyed roads, powerllines, and other infrastructure, and a number of the giant shovels and dump trucks that move ore and waste rock out of the pit. The loss of the equipment was worth tens of millions of dollars, but more significant is the fact that the landslide has shut Bingham Canyon down for an unspecified amount of time. Much more significant because Bingham is not just another copper mine, but physically it’s the largest in the world, and is among the most productive. It is estimated that the loss would total upward 770 million by the time it reopens. About 2100 will be laid off but fortunately no one lost their life in the event 2 million cubic metres of...
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