Sunday, May 16, 2010

Morenci Mine

CLIFTON, Ariz. – This copper pit is on a scale you have to see to believe. The Morenci Mine in southeast Arizona is the biggest producer of copper in the U.S., the company claims, and who am I to disagree? I’m sold. The depth and breadth of this pit is fantastic.
Morenci townsite was moved beginning in the late 1960s so they could expand the pit. Homes, the hotel, a four-story department store, eventually the high school – all moved out of the way to dig a bigger hole.
Morenci is a company town, and the company – Phelps-Dodge sold out to Freeport-McMoRan a few years ago – owns land that surrounds nearby Clifton on three sides. You see Morenci’s cookie-cutter company housing as you drive in and drive out of Clifton, whose downtown is now nearly deserted.
But that’s another story.

1 comment:

  1. Obviously mines like these are mixed blessings, job opportunities balanced by scars upon the landscape.

    Google Earth shows the long north to south scar upon the earth. The land looked barren to begin with, so maybe the damage is not taking it too much lower? Some are skeptical though.

    Write on.