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Morenci open pit mine, eastern Arizona

Arizona Mining Stakeholders Meeting - Brief note on AZ Mining 2017-2018

Steve Trussell, Executive Director of the Arizona Mining Association, invited AZGS to give a short presentation on the state of mining in Arizona 2017-2018 at the next Arizona Mining Stakeholders’ Group Luncheon. The Stakeholders comprise state legislators, legislative aides, and others.

AZGS will provide a fact sheet, drawn from the US Geological Survey Mineral Commodity Summaries 2018, to summarize Arizona mineral production in 2017. Non-fuel mineral production in Arizona topped $6.6 billion, a 17% increase from 2016. And Arizona ranked 10th of 91 jurisdictions worldwide in Fraser Institute's 2017 Investment Attractiveness Index.

Some 2017 highlights of Arizona mineral production in comparison to other states.

  • 1st in copper production, ~ 68% of all U.S. production
  • 2nd only to Nevada in non-fuel mineral production
  • 2nd in gemstone production
  • 5th in sand and gravel for construction  || Other AZ industrial minerals: gypsum, dimension stone, clay, zeolites, bentonite, perlite, and salt
  • 6th in production of zeolites, and the only producer of chabazite
  • Arizona joins six other states in producing high-grade helium
  • Arizona joins Colorado as a major producer of molybdenum
  • Arizona is a leader in rhenium production with 4 operations


The landscape of Arizona mineral exploration & production in 2018

Copper prices approaching $3.25/lb bodes well for Arizona copper production and fresh brownfield and greenfield exploration.

Several things to look forward to in 2018:

Copper - Southeastern & Central Arizona

  • Porphyry copper exploration and extraction permitting progressing at: Hudbay - Rosemont, Gunnison-Excelsior;   FCX - Lone Star near Safford now producing; Florence Copper in pilot stage
  • Canadian Juniors & US exploration teams returning to AZ in numbers
  • Employment in mining on the rise in AZ, e.g., Freeport-McMoRan looking for ~700 new employees statewide

Gold - Western Arizona

  • Gold production slated for Mar. 2018 at Northern Vertex’s Moss Gold-Silver project, Mohave County
  • Gold Road Mine under new ownership expanding property with fresh production in 2018-2019
  • Copperstone Gold of La Paz County now managed by Kerr Mines Inc. looks to reopen

Industrial Minerals - Throughout Arizona

  • Sand and gravel production #5 in U.S. and growing with new construction
  • Hundreds of sand & gravel and stone quarries now active in Arizona
  • Pozzolan mine planned for Skull Valley, Yavapai County

Uranium - Northern Arizona Breccia Pipe Province

  • Canyon Mine production of U / Cu(?) in mid-2018

Zn-Pb-Ag - Patagonia Mtns.

  • Steady progress at Arizona Mining’s world-class Taylor Zn-Pb-Ag deposit in Santa Cruz County
Note: AZGS lacks a crystal ball. Thus, while we confidently bullet these statements, we cannot guarantee their veracity. M. Conway