The Morenci Mine is a large copper mine located near Morenci, Arizona, United States. It is located in Greenlee County, just outside the company town of Morenci and the town of Clifton. The Morenci mine and largely company-owned town are located at an elevation of 1,447m above sea level. The operation employs approximately 2,000 people who work 8h or 12h shift rotations.
With an annual production of between 400 – 500 tonnes of copper, the Morenci Mine is the largest copper mine in Arizona and the U.S. It was first explored in the 1860s by gold prospectors, but wilier miners smelt a better opportunity in the mountainous atmosphere. The open-pit mine has been in use since 1872 when the Detroit Copper Company began mining operations. By 1881, the Phelps Dodge Company began operations that would rapidly expand and make Arizona famous as the Copper State.
In March 2007, Phelps Dodge merged with Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, whose principal asset is the massive Grasberg copper-gold mine in Indonesia, in an agreed $25.9bn takeover by Freeport, the smaller of the two companies. Freeport-McMoRan sold a 13% stake in Morenci mine to Sumitomo Metal Mining (SMM) in May 2016.
According to mining-technology.com; atlasobscura.com; abcdust.net. Source of photo: internet