April 16 Rio Tinto's Kennecott
Utah Copper said on Tuesday it is invoking force majeure with
respect to contracts with copper cathode and sulphuric acid
customers after last week's huge landslide at its Bingham Canyon
Kennecott is in the early stages of assessing plans to
restart ore production, spokesman Kyle Bennett said in an email.
Force majeure is a clause included in contracts that removes
liability for natural and unavoidable events that prevent
companies from fulfilling their obligations.
"Because of the slide and immediate impacts, Kennecott is
invoking 'force majeure' in accordance with terms in the
agreements with companies that we supply copper cathodes and
sulphuric acid," Bennett said.
Rio said earlier on Tuesday it expects Kennecott's 2013
copper production to be reduced by about 100,000 tonnes because
of the slide.
Kennecott is the second-largest copper producer in the
United States. Bingham Canyon, one of the world's largest open
pits, produced 163,200 tonnes of copper last year, as well as
200,000 ounces of gold.