SALT LAKE CITY -- Kennecott Utah Copper Corp. is proposing an expansion of its Bingham Canyon mine that would extend the mine's life to 2034.
The company is asking regulators to allow it to excavate about 1,000 feet from the south wall and deepen the massive mine by another 300 feet to reach 700 million more tons of copper ore.
Company chief executive Kelly Sanders says the expansion called the Cornerstone Project would keep 2,000 jobs and prevent a five-year shutdown beginning in 2016.
The open pit mine is about 20 miles southwest of Salt Lake City in the Oquirrh mountain range.
It began operations in 1906, and has reduced an 8,000-foot mountain to a giant hole now 2 1/2 miles wide.