Rio Tinto is to invest $238m in a feasibility study and long-lead time equipment for Kennecott Utah Copper’s Bingham Canyon mine in Utah, US, to extend its mine life.

The mine life will be extended by nine years to 2028 by pushing back the south wall and constructing supporting infrastructure and equipment.

The work will also include a fifth grinding line at the Copperton Concentrator, expanding the tailings impound and upgrading power generation facilities.

The firm has discussed the feasibility study with the local community, as part of community engagement programme that has been running since August 2010.