2012 Special Citation
The Mining Foundation of the Southwest is proud to present a Special Citation to ASARCO LLC and its employees for their 100 years of copper mining and processing operations in Arizona.
Beginning in 1912, the year Arizona became a state, the American Smelting and Refining Company opened the Hayden Smelter to process ore concentrates from the Ray Consolidated Copper Company mine located east-southeast of Phoenix – a mine that was later purchased by ASARCO in 1986 and that has operated for more than 100 years. The smelter has operated nearly continuously since its foundation, updating technology through the years to increase efficiency and environmental controls. It is one of three remaining smelters in the United States and produces copper anodes primarily from internalconcentrates.
In addition to the smelter, ASARCO has other facilities in the southwest including the Ray, Silver Bell, and Mission Mines in Arizona and the copper electro-refinery and rod plant in Amarillo, Texas. ASARCO has more than 2,700 employees including those at the Tucson corporate office, the mining and processing facilities, the Copper Basin Railway from Ray to Hayden, and Amarillo, TX. Annual production in 2011 was 409 million pounds of refined copper making ASARCO the third largest producer in the U.S. with significant reserves and exploration potential. ASARCO also produces sulfuric acid.
Throughout its history, ASARCO and its employees have persevered during periods of economic downturn, and have striven to improve operational, environmental, and safety performanceIn 2009, ASARCO emerged from a 4-year bankruptcy proceeding that enabled its creditors to be paid in full plus interest and funds to be set aside to completely resolve its legacy environmental obligations. Owing to a strong copper market, ASARCO’s copper production is at capacity, employment levels are high, and operations upgrades and expansions are in progress.