Monday, February 16, 2009

ASARCO Open Pit Copper Mine

Another day another tour.  Here we go, more then you ever wanted to know about a copper mine.


The Mission Mine is just north of Tucson, and they have a very nice one hour bus and walking tour. 

The mine is a quarter mile deep, 2 miles north to south and 1 3/4 miles east to west.  About two thirds of the US copper is milled at this location.


I believe our guide told us the truck is 240 tons.  The tires on this thing cost $54,000 each and will only last on the average of 6 months.  The truck is dumping into a grinder, and will go up to conveyor belt. 


From here it goes into the plant.  The ore is ground into a powder so the copper minerals can be separated.  It is then trucked to Phoenix to be processed into a copper form.  Okay have you had enough? 


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