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Sacaton Mine from the air

Arizona Exploration & Mining: 2019 Perspectives

Today, Weds. 4 Dec. 2019, AZGS Economic Geologist Carson Richardson, Ph.D., is presenting the state of Arizona mining at the 125th Annual Meeting of the American Exploration & Mining Association, Sparks, Nevada.

Other geological state surveys presenting reports, include: Alaska, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Washington. The US Geological Survey and British Columbia Geological Survey will also be presenting.

Carson’s abstract is reprinted here verbatim.

Arizona Exploration and Mining: 2019 Perspectives

 Arizona and parts of the neighboring areas host the world’s second largest copper resource, with 96% of the copper due to Late Cretaceous and early Paleogene magmatism and porphyry copper mineralization occurring between ~80-45 Ma (informally referred to as Laramide by workers in the region). In 2018, Arizona produced ~1,750,000,000 lbs. of copper, accounting for ~66% of U.S. copper production. Molybdenum is produced as a byproduct of copper mining, with ~40% of U.S. molybdenum sourced from ~35,000,000 lbs. of molybdenum mined at Sierrita, Bagdad, Morenci, and Pinto Valley. Major development projects continue to advance at Florence, Hermosa, Johnson Camp, Resolution, and Rosemont. Conversely, coal mining in Arizona ceased in August 2019 with the closure of the Kayenta mine in northern Arizona.

Figures from Richardson's presentation.


Data compiled by David Briggs.


Proportional copper production in AZ and US.

Acknowledgment: Copper production data was compiled by geologist David Briggs of Tucson, Arizona.