Tucson Sights



ASARCO Mineral Discovery Center

ASARCO Mineral Discovery Center Review

This center (American Smelting and Refining Co. is abbreviated) is designed to elucidate the importance of mining to everyday life. Exhibits include a walk-through model of an ore crusher, video stations that explain refining processes, and a film on extraction of minerals from the earth. The big draw, though, is the yawning open pit of the Mission Mine, some 2 miles long and 1.75 miles wide because so much earth has to be torn up to extract the 1% that is copper. It's impressive, but doesn't bolster the case the center tries to make about how environmentally conscious mining has become. Tours of the pit take about one hour; the last one starts at 3:30. In summer, tours are only on Saturday.

Updated: 03-08-2013

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