Changing the way copper is made – What to expect on a Florence Copper Tour

FlorenceAZ #003 (2).JPG

Poston Butte Mountain’s ‘Pyramid to the Sun’.


DSCN0592.jpg

Visiting the core shed on the Florence Copper tour.

By Stacy Gramazio

Special to the Nugget

“Where is the big open pit?” This is a typical question I’ll hear when I tell people I work for a copper mining company. Most people who’ve grown up here know a little bit about the state’s history of copper. Harkening back to junior high lectures of the 5 C’s of Arizona, they usually expect to hear exciting tales about a big hole in the ground, large trucks and shovels, and waste pile, and while I’m happy to explain how the Florence Copper project will recover copper using a state-of-the-art technology, the best suggestion I can offer is to take the tour.

With their curiosity piqued, I explain that we offer free tours of our copper recovery site along Hunt Highway at least twice a month.

Florence Copper is different –we are a company proposing to use cutting-edge in-situ technology that is minimally invasive to the land. I watch the interest and excitement grow in their expressions as they discover the opportunity here in the Town of Florence: Florence Copper, in full production, will create over 170 direct head of household jobs and hundreds of additional indirect jobs using a process that is technically proven, environmentally safe and allows for a number of exciting possibilities for the second life of the land at the close of the project.

Tours of Florence Copper are open to anyone, and they provide a great education about in-situ copper recovery technology in a just a couple hours. Let me tell you about a typical site tour:

Generally, guests of Florence Copper site tours start their day at our Community Office, located in downtown Florence at 130 N. Main Street. One of Florence’s official historic sites, this is a place we love to show off. From its start in 1948 as the site of the local town hall that included a police and fire station, to its days as the Country Thunder offices, this location has served the community in many capacities.

When you arrive, we’ll have a cup of coffee and doughnuts waiting for you from Eugene & Kim’s, a great local donut shop. After getting to know each other a bit, you’ll be invited to view a short slide presentation about the Florence Copper project, which includes our animated video of in-situ technology, “Changing the Way Copper Is Made.” We’ll make sure your questions are answered by our hydrologists and environmental engineers who proudly explain how the groundwater is protected and hydraulic control is maintained with in-situ technology.

Then you’ll hop on the tour bus, head toward the “mine.” Along the way, you’ll hear about the history of the copper site that was first discovered in the 1960s. The agricultural and industrial sites that surround the property are easily spotted, and you’ll notice how Florence Copper is directly across the highway from Poston Butte Mountain. (Often referred to by locals as “F” mountain because of a large letter F on its side. This mountain is distinct with its “pyramid to the sun” on its summit. It’s also the burial place for Charles D. Poston, known as “the Father of Arizona.”)

Once on site, you’ll enter the administration building. Here, you can see and touch drill core samples taken from the copper bearing deposit located around 700 feet underground. It becomes clear how Mother Nature has been very helpful to Florence Copper, the core samples show how the deposit is broken up naturally, offering perfect in-situ copper recovery conditions that will never require hydraulic fracturing.

Once back on the bus, we’ll pull up to a vintage Quonset hut that originally came from William’s Field Air Force base. At Florence Copper, we call this our “library” as it contains hundreds and hundreds of core samples that geologists have been studying since the late 1960s. If the cores were laid end to end it would stretch more than 150 miles! It becomes crystal clear how we know that Florence Copper has ideal conditions for this project, the data is there to prove it.

Next, we arrive at the existing in-situ copper recovery well field that was once successfully operated in the late 1990s by BHP Copper. You’ll see for yourself the small footprint of the recovery wells and well field, and how they function. Like BHP, Florence Copper will use a 99.5% water and 0.5% sulfuric acid solution to gently extract the copper through the hydraulic closed-loop system created by these wells. We’ll remind you that this solution is about the same acidity as common household vinegar and hydraulic control of the solution is always maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our operating permits include an Aquifer Protection Permit from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and an Underground Injection Control Permit issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that our groundwater is continually protected.

At this point, I get to enjoy the best part of my job, distributing the Florence Copper hats and other giveaways. Our guests are generally enthusiastic and happy knowing that soon the world will be watching Florence and Florence Copper when our Production Test Facility begins operations, and most are ready to proudly put on their Florence Copper ball caps and continue their day.

We return to the Community Office in downtown Florence and while the tour may be over, our team is still prepared to answer any remaining questions you may have. Our goal is to maintain complete transparency about the Florence Copper project, and our door is open long after your visit is over.

Sound interesting? If so, give me a call at the Florence Copper office, and I’ll be more than happy to reserve your space for a tour. (520) 374-3984 or email stacygramazio@florencecopper.com.

Public tours are the second and fourth Fridays of the month at 9 a.m. Alternate tours are arranged for community groups and special situations.

Come experience Florence Copper. It’s not your grandfather’s copper mine, but it’s one with a long history and a great future.

What is the PTF.jpg

The well fields at Florence Copper.

tours start their day at our Community Office, located in downtown Florence at 130 N. Main Street. One of Florence’s official historic sites, this is a place we love to show off. From its start in 1948 as the site of the local town hall that included a police and fire station, to its days as the Country Thunder offices, this location has served the community in many capacities.

When you arrive, we’ll have a cup of coffee and doughnuts waiting for you from Eugene & Kim’s, a great local donut shop. After getting to know each other a bit, you’ll be invited to view a short slide presentation about the Florence Copper project, which includes our animated video of in-situ technology, “Changing the Way Copper Is Made.” We’ll make sure your questions are answered by our hydrologists and environmental engineers who proudly explain how the groundwater is protected and hydraulic control is maintained with in-situ technology.

Then you’ll hop on the tour bus, head toward the “mine.” Along the way, you’ll hear about the history of the copper site that was first discovered in the 1960s. The agricultural and industrial sites that surround the property are easily spotted, and you’ll notice how Florence Copper is directly across the highway from Poston Butte Mountain. (Often referred to by locals as “F” mountain because of a large letter F on its side. This mountain is distinct with its “pyramid to the sun” on its summit. It’s also the burial place for Charles D. Poston, known as “the Father of Arizona.”)

Once on site, you’ll enter the administration building. Here, you can see and touch drill core samples taken from the copper bearing deposit located around 700 feet underground. It becomes clear how Mother Nature has been very helpful to Florence Copper, the core samples show how the deposit is broken up naturally, offering perfect in-situ copper recovery conditions that will never require hydraulic fracturing.

Once back on the bus, we’ll pull up to a vintage Quonset hut that originally came from William’s Field Air Force base. At Florence Copper, we call this our “library” as it contains hundreds and hundreds of core samples that geologists have been studying since the late 1960s. If the cores were laid end to end it would stretch more than 150 miles! It becomes crystal clear how we know that Florence Copper has ideal conditions for this project, the data is there to prove it.

Next, we arrive at the existing in-situ copper recovery well field that was once successfully operated in the late 1990s by BHP Copper. You’ll see for yourself the small footprint of the recovery wells and well field, and how they function. Like BHP, Florence Copper will use a 99.5% water and 0.5% sulfuric acid solution to gently extract the copper through the hydraulic closed-loop system created by these wells. We’ll remind you that this solution is about the same acidity as common household vinegar and hydraulic control of the solution is always maintained 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our operating permits include an Aquifer Protection Permit from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and an Underground Injection Control Permit issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that our groundwater is continually protected.

At this point, I get to enjoy the best part of my job, distributing the Florence Copper hats and other giveaways. Our guests are generally enthusiastic and happy knowing that soon the world will be watching Florence and Florence Copper when our Production Test Facility begins operations, and most are ready to proudly put on their Florence Copper ball caps and continue their day.

We return to the Community Office in downtown Florence and while the tour may be over, our team is still prepared to answer any remaining questions you may have. Our goal is to maintain complete transparency about the Florence Copper project, and our door is open long after your visit is over.

Sound interesting? If so, give me a call at the Florence Copper office, and I’ll be more than happy to reserve your space for a tour. (520) 374-3984 or email stacygramazio@florencecopper.com.

Public tours are the second and fourth Fridays of the month at 9 a.m. Alternate tours are arranged for community groups and special situations.

Come experience Florence Copper. It’s not your grandfather’s copper mine, but it’s one with a long history and a great future.

Courtney (305 Posts)


Comments are closed.

  • Stories Just Posted

    Future medical technologies: The Doctor will see you over the Internet

    14 hours ago
    by

    Copper Area News As a county in transition, Pinal is becoming increasingly urban in its northwestern section abutting its border with Maricopa County from Apache Junction to Maricopa.


    Where is Pinal County healthcare headed? Wait until dust settles from the ACA

    14 hours ago
    by

    Copper Area News Healthcare in Pinal County, as it is elsewhere in Arizona, is in a holding pattern.


    Sun Life trains for disaster with firefighters

    14 hours ago
    by

    Copper Area News A call to 911 is made. A boiler has exploded at a local clinic.


    Healthcare and Economic Development in Pinal County

    14 hours ago
    by

    Copper Area News Healthcare is playing a two-prong role in the economic development plans of Pinal County.
    “On one hand, we are working hard to attract healthcare companies to locate in


  • Stories Just For You

    Oracle State Park to feature Master Gardeners in January 

    December 23rd, 2013
    by

    Oracle State Park Center for Environmental Education continues its weekend events schedule in January with a Master Gardeners “Answer Table” […]


    Merchants at Ray-Sonora who fought a revolution

    December 23rd, 2013
    by

    By John Hernandez Nugget The Mexican Revolution began in 1910 although the spark that was said to have started the […]


    World renowned Legacy Quartet again comes to Gold Canyon

    December 23rd, 2013
    by

    The Gold Canyon United Methodist Church’s Performing Arts Series presents the Legacy Quartet in their 8th annual concert in  the fabulous acoustics […]


    Getting lost in the Copper Corridor …

    December 23rd, 2013
    by

    Can you guess where in the Copper Corridor this photo was taken? If you guessed Superior, then you would be […]


  • Facebook

  • [Advertisement.]
  • Arizona Headlines & Current Weather

  • Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin