Mining Firm Rio Tinto to Prolong Life of Utah Copper Mine

$660 Million Investment will extend use 11 years longer than planned.

Global mining giant Rio Tinto (IW1000/64) on Tuesday said it would invest $660 million over the next seven years to extend the life of an historic copper mine near Salt Lake City.

The Anglo-Australian miner said it would invest the equivalent of 521 million euros to extend the life of Kennecott Utah Copper's Bingham Canyon to 2029 -- 11 years longer than planned.

It has already been in operation for more than 100 years, Rio said in a statement.

"The investment will enable production at an average of 180 thousand tonnes of copper, 185 thousand ounces of gold and 13.8 thousand tonnes of molybdenum a year from 2019 through 2029," it added.

Molybdenum is a soft metal used in steel alloys.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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