*UPDATED
5 million ounces of annual silver supply and 500,000 ounces of annual gold supply have just been vaporized landslided.
Rio Tinto’s Kennecott mine in Utah- the US’ 2nd largest silver mine and world’s largest copper mine has just suffered a massive landslide which will likely shut down production at the mine for years as upwards of 1 billion tons of dirt and ore have collapsed into the basin. 

16% of US annual silver production just vanished.  Good thing there aren’t any physical supply issues in silver currently or anything…

Astonishing Photos below:

 

buffalo banner 2-Recovered

 

According to Rio Tinto’s VP of Marketing Vania Grandi, Kennecott produces up to 5 million ounces of silver, and 1/2 million ounces of gold annually:
We produce about 3 (million) to 5 million ounces of silver a year and 300,000 to 500,000 ounces of gold,” said Vania Grandi, vice president of marketing for the Precious Metals Copper Group at Rio Tinto — parent company of Kennecott Utah Copper Corp.

 

The total US mine output for silver in 2012 was 1,050 tons for 2012 or 30.6 million ounces, and US gold production was 230 tons,  meaning Rio Tinto’s Kennecott accounted for upwards of 16% of total US silver supply, and 5% of US gold supply!!!

The loss of 5 million ounces in domestic silver supply will have a DIRECT AFFECT on the Sunshine mint’s ability to source silver for blanks- which are used in the production of American Silver Eagles, which are already being rationed (allocated) due to physical supply constraints.
Look for premiums on ASE’s to go super-nova as the implications of the Kennecott landslide work their way down-stream!

 

The Media Release from Rio Tinto:

Kennecott Utah Copper’s Bingham Canyon Mine pit wall slide

At 9.30 pm local time on 10 April 2013, Kennecott Utah Copper’s Bingham Canyon Mine experienced a slide along a geotechnical fault line of its north eastern wall.  Movement on the north eastern wall had accelerated in recent weeks and pre-emptive measures were taken to relocate facilities and roads prior to the slide.  All employees are safe and accounted for.

Mine operations are currently suspended while experts assess the extent of the slide and impact on operations.

About Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and New York Stock Exchange listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Rio Tinto’s business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium, gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide and salt) and iron ore. Activities span the world and are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.|

 

From VisitUtah.org:
In addition to copper, the mine also produces about 400,000 ounces of gold, 4 million ounces of silver and 20 million pounds of molybdenum.
Located 28 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, the mine is 2 3/4-miles across and 3/4-mile deep. It is so big that it can be seen from outer space. Standing at the overlook within the Bingham Canyon Mine, you can see, hear, and feel the breathtaking and awesome magnitude of this massive man-made excavation. Kennecott Utah Copper’s Bingham Canyon Mine is the world’s largest man-made excavation!

 

Thankfully, there were no casualties in the collapse as Kennecott suspended operations and tours April 1st due to slope movement on the northeast wall over the winter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

silver mine

Source: AAP

 

 

 


Aerial video of the landslide via Fox13:

Going to take an extra 400 million ounces of paper silver a year to make up for Rio Tinto’s lost supply of 4 million ounces of silver/year.
More info on the Kennecott mine:

About the Mine…

* Kennecott’s Bingham Canyon Mine has produced more copper than any mine in history – about 18.1 million tons.

* The mine is 2-3/4 miles across at the top and 3/4 of a mile deep. You could stack two Sears Towers (now known as the Willis Building) on top of each other and still not reach the top of the mine.

* The mine is so big, it can be seen by the space shuttle astronauts as they pass over the United States.

* By 2015, the mine will be at least 500 feet deeper than it is now.

* If you stretched out all the roads in the open pit mine, you’d have 500 miles of roadway – enough to reach from Salt Lake City to Denver.

 

2013 Silver Eagles (Available for now)
at SDBullion!

    • Agreed.  More scooping, less blasting.  Should make getting it cheaper.  The real problem is the road that winds down into that hole.  It’s now broken, so no truck or scoop travel down to that massive slide area until it is fixed.  Hmmm… temporary conveyor belt system?

  1. The question is who owns the mine? What are the coincidences of these happening after a major calculated take down? Next who opened or was just approved a Copper ETF (Jp Morgan). Who has been selling in mass PSLV? The question is why? Now we all know that there is a silver shortage and common sense should tell us we should see the move in silver skyrocket with enormous growth upwards stratospheric proportions. We shall see what happens in Asia & Globex on Sunday evening and Comex Monday…

    • Yes, and what do we see happening again? A major paper sell off. These countries are selling out their people for a piece of paper and greed. No one matters except a paper game. They steal peoples lives, pensions, families and happiness all to be wealthy at the people’s expense. What a shame. This is not what the Lord wanted for any of us globally. 
       

  2. 4 million ozs per year or 100 million worth of silver, it makes no difference.   Available silver for investment is very small, if some money ever entered the physcial silver market, we hit a rocket ship!!

  3. I spoke with a few people who stopped by to talk to me at my silver seller booth at the Reno Gun show. They told me something I have NEVER heard before.  With the Friday price smack down they starting calling every silver seller, LCS and dealed in the Reno Carson area   ZERO, ZIP NADA SILVER.  One guy said Northern NV Coin sold him 10 oz and that was all they would sell him.  Either they refuse to sell at this price cuz maybe they bought at $28 and are not going to sellat a loss, or jsut as likely is they have nothing in their vaults.  Either way this is very telling.  Ibrough about 3,000 oz to the booth in 1 OZ rounds to 100 OZ bars I will not sell for less than $32 an oz, period. And I sold 30 ozs.  Not bad considering they were old ingots and rounds from the 1980s.  Most people were incredibly interested in the silver story and I can talk up a storm and mos had good knowledge of the present situation.
    some real Silver Doctors and others like Sinclair,Sprott, Willie and Weir.  I thought it was very interesting that so many people were silver literate.  But it should not surprise since silver, gold, ammo and guns are so closely aligned. More tomorrow as this is the last day of the show

    • dangit @AGXIIK
      3K Troy? 
      Wheeeee-EWWW! I’d love to see that much in one place at one time.
      If I get my 401A out before the leviathan goes NOM-NOM-NOM I will 
      get that privilege! I bet the vaults at AGX-Central shine like a silver sun… 

    • A quick update from the show. On Saturday a buyer came by to tell me he called all the LCS in Reno Carson and not one had any silver for sale. They said they were out but maybe if they bought at $29 or so, they are not selling below $30 and no one buying at these stores would pay $30.  One store rationed their rounds at 10 per customer.  Hmmmm!?
      I scoped out another silver across the room this Sunday AM before the show opened and found my competitor selling generic rounds like mine for $31 an oz.   He said his buy price was $28. 
      I decided to price at $30 and ended up having  people throw $100′s at me.  I finished  by selling about 270 generic rounds dating from 1980′s to 2012.  A  few Morgans,  2012 ASEs and Day of Resistance rounds with average prices of $45 per ounce.
        My average price was just over $30 for  the 3 days but I  did dip to $29 when someone waved $2,000 in front of me.  At 30 minutes before the show closed at 3 PM that was tooooo tempting.
      $30 was the magic number for the show but it took me 3 days to find it out. Price discovery is a beast but I was so busy manning the table I did not check the competition.
       The perfect storm of Rio Tinto, zero silver within 50 miles, prices holding  $30 at the LCD.and a certain desperation in the knowledgeable silver buyer crowds allowed me to hit  the $30 handle without quibbling.  If I had thought this through Saturday and Friday it could have been a sell out at my table for these rounds.  I combined some older ingots and rounds  and some newer rounds to give a blended profit of $10 per oz. 
      Aside from selling silver for a profit and meeting hundreds of people interested in talking silver, buying some and interested in working with me for local 4 hour delivery, this was an excellent vernture. If silver jumps over $30, the next show should be something else and allow me to move the stuff I bought at $32-33 with a $4-5 price over spot.  Half the people had Iphone and other internet devices to check spot so there is good price knowledge on the floor.  Availability and the fact that I had more silver at my table than the entire northern Nevada bullion dealer group  Or so I would like to think.

    • Sounds like a good day for you, AGX…
       
      Hey, if I ever wanted to sell off around 100 ASE’s, what is a good sell price right now? 
      OR, under normal market conditions? +$2 over spot when it was mid 30′s was what I saw

  4. I visited this mine last year and its a 10 minute drive from the entrance up to the processing labs.  This damage looks incredible and means that the surrounding structures must be very unstable.  So not only did it destroy roads and infrastructure but now everything in this immediate area must be very prone to more landslides which means it just got shut down.  
    The tailings or dump at this site was always the concern it would collapse and wipe out a large area below the mountain.  It appears the actual mine itself collapsed first before the dumps. 

  5. Breaking news  US Mint announces rationing of American Silver Eagles. Maximum sales of 10 Eagles per customer through 2017.  Just kidding,  US Mint will shut down for 6 months for retooling. 

    • This really depends on how tight the market really is right now.  Lower prices like $25 will cause mine expansions to stall, exploration to stop and equipment purchases to end.  It also means that production will rapidly drop and this has been an ongoing concern if the market is really tight.  Sort of like a double whammy effect and the last thing they need is to lose 0.5% of silver production due to this problem.
       

  6. I’ve been  talking incessantly to the people at the show about the US Mint rationing ASEs   With 40,000,000 ounces of US production, this mine disaster will take out 10% of our domestic production.  Barrick’s just lost the Pascua L mine in Chile due to the water pollution.  That one is effectively tabled millions of ounces of silver and who knows how much gold and copper.
    Since Barrick promised 200,000,000 in silver to Silver Wheaton for $4 an ounce, that is going to be a sticky issue too   Mining is going to be hit this year due to nationalizing, high labor and energy costs and with an average cost of $25-30 per ounce to extract the silver, the supply crunch could come even quicker. 

    • This thing will blow up. The Orwellian US central planners will be defeated, like the Stalinists in the USSR. When? That’s up to God, the Supreme One.

  7. 10% of America? that’s small feed. I would be more upset if it was Australia or China. They knew this was coming, was measuring and planning on it for some weeks/months. Mines do dry up, new ones get built. Don’t be fooled by the rhetoric. this “land slide”  has already been dialed into the market. Nothing to see here, move along folks.

    • There is a surplus of copper at the moment, silver is a secondary product, copper is the main one, silver is as always a kicker. I think this landslide will put it out for about a year, I bet there is at least 2 years surplus, won’t affect the price of anything.

  8. My first thought was Haarp, but we will never know of course. Most likely they will scuttle the mine completely and rescue the vehicles that can be and re-allocated  elsewhere. This mine will be deemed too dangerous…Just look at it you can tell the whole hillside is a ticking time bomb. And that is not to even consider the other side of the mine..My guess is this mine is DONE!!!!!!CAPUT!  forever..wow incredible news.  also on another subject my coin dealer told me his asian customers are buying gold and silver like its going out of style..even at the 1600 level.

    • “…also on another subject my coin dealer told me his asian customers are buying gold and silver like its going out of style..even at the 1600 level.”
       
      Maybe that’s because it (paper money) IS going out of style!  And they know it.
       

  9. Hey WaitingFor Silver
       Your missing the point, 16% of the US annual supply of 40 million ozs is 5million oz so now annual production is around 35million (Aurcana is coming online with Shafter so that will help a bit).
      The US mint is on pace to sell 45million ozs of silver eagles that have to be produced from DOMESTIC silver if I am correct. I am Canadian so please correct me if im wrong. that is a short fall of almost 10million ozs, wheres it gonna come from.
      Barrick will probably have to enter the futures market to meet its obligations to Silver Wheaton of 200million ozs at $4 maybe thats who’s in the futures market already and keeps driving the open interest up?????
    Lets be honest do you really think that the stackers and countries that have been buying since the crash will sell at these prices, No they will buy more and average down.
    Pretty obvious why the massive smack down happened to me.
    Get it while you can boys.

  10. Its not all bad news. Unless the material that sluffed off is bad ore quality. I doubt that it is. They now have ore dirt to move that they dont have to blast.Makes for much easy digging and faster move times. I doubt if production is hinder much. Unless they lost some haul trucks an shovels in the slide.

    • Rio Tinto cannot just back the trucks down the hillside and begin shoveling into the landslide. This will take months of geotechnical work/reporting to determine whether the surviving surrounding slopes are stable… this mine will be shut in for a long time.
      The visuals of the slide are a physical metaphor of the paper cartel’s operations: massive unstable mountains of paper collapsing. 

  11. Given that every single-unit banknote on the Earth has a real residual physical value expression that can ONLY be handily expressed in copper, that much disturbance in its production IS a problem. Nevertheless, the figures I’d dug out a couple years ago indicated that to make the reversion back to the metallic scheme, there’s PLENTY standing bar and scrap stock to complete the task within a few months. Also, given that banknotes are CONTINUING to lose real residual value (rational purchase power), the amount of additional copper necessary is folding back into whatever coinage would already HAVE been made, reducing the imperitive to add still more coinage (and further compelling establishment of a meaningful copper-silver exchange ratio).

    • @Patfields
      Since we had that little speech about 10g Cu being the New Dollar, every time I find 3 copper cents
      in the penny dish I think to myself: There’s another Dollar in the (piggy) bank! I have cashiers all over
      this side of the state saving copper for me! LOL 

  12. Thought I’d check in with the crew after a bit of a hiatus from watching the day to day noise thats been going on in the world of international finance,hegemony and largess.
     All I can offer from north of 49 to help ya’ll feel better, is a big Yawn.  I wasn’t planning on selling any phyzz today anyway. I may even liquidate a few useless trinkets and toys, to take advantage of the current sale in PM’s.
    Hmm , what should I unload? A ridiculously expensive mountain bike that I don’t have time to ride? a classic old guitar that I don’t play very often?  Any body wanna buy a 1936 evinrude outboard motor in mint shape…with original owners manual and pull cord?     
    Stick to your guns people. You only lose wealth if you actually sell into this sillyness.
    If you decide to capitulate, let me know and I’ll get the sheeple shears out. But before you start running up the price on my shiny old outboard, Think long and hard about how strong your convictions are. While you’re doing that I think I’ll go take one last ride on my bike.

    • @Crazy_Canuck

      Let me guess … hoity-toity fullie Lightspeed Ti frame, kitted out with top level Marzocchi hydraulics, XTR gearing and deraileurs, Hayes brakes, all slung on top of a pair of Mavic deep vee rims strung up with ti spokes tied to Chris King ti hubs (to match the headset)?

  13. CC   Evinrude?  The 1930′s were a great time period for the little works of art called outboards.  I was into Keihauffer Mercurys and the Johnson Seagull.  If memory serves me, and most of the time it’s questionable.  Rebuilding one of these was the poor man’s way of restoring these classic.  I made a nice piece of extra change working on up from a basket case to full operation. The Keikhauffer were my favorite and they ran forever.  Impellers were hard to find but a tille McGyver and they’d run god as new.  Carbs were another thing. 

  14. Hey Pat
    Actually it’s a german made Votec made for porsche and branded as such. Full on hayes, shimano xtr and bomb proof mavics front and rear, It tops out at 30.5 pounds so it’s not a slug on the straight and long, but still handles the steeps like a long travel DHer. I ride light and fast and she flows real nice.  I stopped short if the Ti components as I was to busy spending the extra cash on Ag.
     
    AgxIIk
    I’ve always owned mercs as a rule myself. Had 4 of them over the years ranging from a 4.5 to a 250. Can’t beat that sound at WOT.  The old evinrude was an inheritance from my late uncle. no forward or reverse selectivity. Just pull the cord and get ready to go.

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