Kennecott gives media first look at new visitors center slated to open in Spring 2019

BINGHAM CANYON, Utah – It’s been five years since a landslide forced the popular Bingham Canyon Mine Visitors Center to close but soon it will re-open, and Fox 13 got a sneak peek.

“It’s been a labor of love,” said Piper Rhodes, Manager of Communications and Community, Kennecott.

In April 2013, a massive landslide sent 165 million tons of rock tumbling into the Bingham Canyon Mine – the largest landslide in mining history.

“Having a mountain slide down is not an everyday occurrence,” said Matthew Laird, a Geotechnician.

No one was hurt.

“We had the sophisticated systems, and we had sophisticated people to keep everyone safe in here,” said Kyle Bennett, Spokesman Rio Tinto Kennecott.

Visitors will get the chance to learn more about the slide and the sophisticated geotechnical monitoring equipment that allowed them to detect the incident months before it happened.

“We’re connecting 20,000 data points in a 24-hour period. We’re able to make real-time decisions,” said Bennett.

There will be many new attractions, and exhibits including a gift shop and sustainability trail.

The most significant change is reservations will be made online, and visitors will take a shuttle to the center – no more driving up there on your own.

Kennecott employees and their families are already getting a preview of the new center. The public will get their first opportunity in Spring 2019. Kennecott can’t wait to show it off.

“We want to connect people with the importance of mining. All of our materials used here today go into the electronics we use every day, the technology. Mining is absolutely critical to everyday life,” said Bennett.