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Rio Tinto Kennecott announced it will donate $10 million to the Museum of Utah as part of its 120th anniversary celebration.

The museum is currently being built on the grounds of the Utah state capitol complex and is slated to open in 2026 under the umbrella of the Utah historical society.

Rio said the donation represents Kennecott’s deep connection and historical ties to Utah and marks the first major private donation to the museum project.

“Our investment in the Museum of Utah not only honours the legacy of our mining ancestors who built the path for us to provide critical minerals the world needs today, it also demonstrates our continuing commitment to our Utah community, which we look forward to cultivating for many years to come.” Rio Tinto Kennecott managing director Nate Foster said.

The museum will be free and open year-round to the public and feature more than 17,000-square-feet of exhibition space and over 400 objects on display.

As Utah’s first state history museum, the Museum of Utah will celebrate the state’s history, culture, and art through world-class exhibits, programming, and community spaces.

In recognition of their donation, which will be distributed over the next 10 years, the Utah gallery building will be presented by Rio Tinto Kennecott.

The gallery aims to honour the work of Utahns across a range of areas, from agriculture and mining to homemaking and railroad building.

“It’s fitting to honour the successful 120-year history of Rio Tinto Kennecott in the state, as we appreciate the company’s forward-looking donation to the new Museum of Utah,” Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox said.

“This museum will tell all of us the Utah stories we know, but it will also surprise us as we see our state’s treasures in a new light.”