Saturday, December 26, 2015

Kennescope 1972 (KENNECOTT COPPER)

Several of our local Mt. Pleasant citizens have worked for Kennecott Copper at various times.  Three that I know of are Boyd (Dutch) Hafen, Francis Carlson and Bud Carlson.  Dutch retired in 1972 with 15 years and 4 months of employment.  I found this in the Johanna Madsen Hafen Collection.

The following is taken from Wikipedia


Kennecott Utah Copper's Garfield Smelter, withInterstate 80 in the foreground

Utah Copper Company had its start when Enos Austin Wall realized the potential of copper deposits in Bingham Canyon, 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Salt Lake City, Utah in 1887 and acquired claims to the land. Underground mining in the area was begun in 1890, and Daniel C. Jackling and Robert C. Gemmell, both engineers, examined Wall's properties and recommended open-pit mining. In 1898, Samuel Newhouse and Thomas Weir formed the Boston Consolidated Mining Company.

Jackling and Wall formed the Utah Copper Company in 1903, and the company immediately started a pilot mill at Copperton. With financing from Guggenheim Exploration, the first digging began in 1906. The same year, the Kennecott Mines Company was formed in Alaska, named after explorer and naturalist Robert Kennicott. A smelter was also started at Garfield by the American Smelting and Refining Company(ASARCO) to refine the Bingham ore.

In 1907, the Utah Copper mill in Magna started operation. Utah Copper and Boston Consolidated merged in 1910, and in 1915, Kennecott acquired 25% interest in the company. In 1915, to dilute the railroad's cost and find new ventures for the capital produced by the Alaskan mine, Kennecott Copper Corporation was incorporated out of the various financial interests involved. By this time, the Guggenheims were already actively working copper mines in Chile and Utah. Upon Kennecott's creation, they merged their Braden Copper Co. property in Chile, as well as 25 percent of the Utah Copper Co., into Kennecott. These moves gave Kennecott possession of Braden's El Teniente, the world's largest underground mine, in the Chilean Andes. The Bingham and Garfield Railway opened in 1911 to transport the ore, replacing the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad's line. In 1936, Kennecott acquired all the assets of the Utah Copper Company.

In 1913, in response to labor strikes at Bingham and Tucker led by IWW organizers, Utah Copper hired armed guards led by Axel Steele. The Utah Copper guards protected strikebreakers from IWW violence, and forcefully ran 160 IWW organizers and supporters out of the small town of Tucker, Utah. Steele and some of his men broke up an IWW rally in Salt Lake City by assaulting the speaker on stage.[1]

During World War II, Bingham set new world records for copper mining and produced about 30% of the copper used by the Allies.[citation needed] Many women worked in the mines, mills, and smelters.

On September 9, 1949 three company officers were killed in an airplane bombing known as the Albert Guay Affair in Quebec: the retiring president E.T. Stannard; his designated successor, Arthur D. Storke; and R.J. Parker, a vice-president. Charles Cox, formerly head of Carnegie-Illinois Steel, was hired shortly after to fill the executive vacuum.

By 1961, Kennecott's copper mines included four large open pits in the Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. As the mine in Utah expanded, it subsumed the land on which the town of Bingham was built, and the city ceased to exist in 1971.

In 1981, a world-wide fall in copper prices brought about the acquisition of Kennecott by Standard Oil of Ohio (SOHIO). Production was interrupted from 1985 to 1987. In the latter year, British Petroleum acquired SOHIO, and Kennecott became part of BP Minerals America. In 1989 Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) purchased mining assets from BP. Kennecott Utah Copper Corporation was formed by Rio Tinto in 1989 as a new mining company under the laws of the State of Utah.

Today, as the second largest copper producer in the United States, Kennecott Utah Copper provides about 18-25% percent of the U.S.'s copper needs.[2] Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine is one of the largest man-made excavations in the world.[3] It is one of the top producing copper mines in the world with cumulative production at more than 19 million tons of copper.[2] In 2011, Kennecott produced approximately 237,000 tons of copper, along with 379,000 troy ounces of gold, 3.2 million troy ounces of silver, about 30 million pounds of molybdenum, and about 1 million tons of sulfuric acid, a by-product of the smelting process.[2] Since Rio Tinto purchased Kennecott Utah Copper in 1989 it has invested about $2 billion in the modernization of KUC’s operations. KUC has also spent more than $350 million on the cleanup of historic mining waste and $100 million on groundwater cleanup. Rio Tinto directly employs 2,000 people and contributes to more than 14,000 indirect Utah jobs.[4]

Rio Tinto Group, one of the world's largest mining operations, comprises dual-listed companies Rio Tinto Limited (based in Melbourne) and Rio Tinto plc (based in London). Although each company trades separately, the two Rio Tintos operate as one business.[4]

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