Rio Tinto Investing $1.5B Into Utah, Extending Thousands of Jobs

Due to the intense exploration, lengthy mining and careful remediation processes that occur throughout the life of a mining project, mines provide the local communities that surround them with an important economic boost for decades, and even generations.

One such community in the Salt Lake City area is poised to benefit from a recent announcement from Rio Tinto, which is investing an additional $1.5 billion in its Kennecott copper mine to extend its life until at least 2032. The move will guarantee job security for thousands of workers.

The investment will allow mining to continue into a new area of the ore body and deliver close to one million tons of refined copper between 2026 and 2032. It is a world class project that will generate attractive returns and allow further exploration of the deposit and options for mine life extension.

With this addition, Rio Tinto has invested more than $5 billion in modernization, environmental stewardship and mine-life extension initiatives since it acquired Kennecott in 1989.

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said, “This is an attractive, high value and low risk investment that will ensure Kennecott produces copper and other critical materials to at least 2032. The outlook for copper is attractive, with strong growth in demand driven by its use in electric vehicles and renewable power technologies, and declining grades and closures at existing mines impacting supply.

“Kennecott is uniquely positioned to meet strong demand in the United States and delivers almost 20 per cent of the country’s copper production. North American manufacturers have relied on high quality products from Kennecott for the past century and this investment means it will continue to be a source of essential materials into the next decade.”