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FORMER KENNECOTT EMPLOYEE CHARGED IN GOLD-NUGGET THEFT

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A former Kennecott Corp. employee has been charged with the theft of more than 8 ounces of gold from the Kennecott Silver Refinery three weeks ago.

The man, 34, apparently took the gold in nugget form. Less than $6,000 worth of gold was taken, but for security reasons, Kennecott refused to disclose any more information, spokesman Alexis Fernandez said.Kennecott will not say how the man managed to get the nuggets out because it runs "a pretty tight ship out there," said deputy sheriff Rod Norton. Kennecott has its greatest level of security at its precious metals refinery.

Kennecott identified the loss and a suspect in late May and then called the Salt Lake County sheriff's office. The suspect, who is no longer employed at Kennecott, was later charged with the theft, a second-degree felony, Norton said.