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Louis S. Cates


1996 Inductee from Mining's Past

Louis S. Cates was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1881. He received a mining engineering degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1902 and began his career in the mining fields of Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico. He later moved to Bingham Canyon, Utah, with the Boston Consolidated Mining Company. There, he was made manager in 1910, and played a major role in development of the huge Bingham open pit mine. When Utah Copper Company purchased Boston Consolidated, Cates was put in charge of the Ray Consolidated Copper Company at Ray, Arizona. He became General Manager at Ray in 1913, and in 1923, he went to Salt Lake City as Vice President and General Manager of Utah Copper Company.

In 1930, he resigned to become President of Phelps Dodge Corporation. He retired as President and became Chairman of the Board in 1947. Under Cates' leadership, Phelps Dodge became one of the big three copper producers in the world. It was during his tenure that Phelps Dodge acquired the Calumet and Arizona Mining Company and the United Verde Copper Company. However, his major achievement at Phelps Dodge was the development of the Morenci open pit mine.

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