It was a special day for Mayor Jayme Valenzuela, Councilmember John Tameron, members of Senator John McCain’s office and Senator Jeff Flake’s office as they met at the Resolution Copper Mine site and began watching safety videos. Next they dressed out for the adventure down the cylinder tube that would take them 6,665 feet below the earth’s surface, giving them the opportunity to see how the work is progressing. The depth of the shaft will reach its full depth of 6,943 feet by the end of 2014.
All the representatives that attended the tour found it very interesting. These visitors all have a genuine interest in the production of the mine and the reflection it will have on the Town of Superior. Once the group entered the cylinder tube the ride is 15 minutes one way and travels 500 feet a minute. After the return to the top the group was able to see the operating room where the hoist control systems work.
During the visitation, Dave Richins of Resolution Copper shared the story of the overlook area that was built for the visit of Prince William around 2004 and the process of block cave mining.
The block cave mining is a mass mining method that allows for the bulk mining of large, relative lower grade ore bodies. In general terms, block cave mining is characterized by caving and extracting a massive volume of rock. This translates into the formation of a surface depression depending on the characteristics of the mining, the rock mass, and the topography of the ground surface. Block caving has been applied to large scale extractions of various metals and minerals. The underground tunnel where overlying rock is broken by gravity more or less flows to the draw point to be gathered and taken away for processing. After the ore has been extracted from the mine, the copper production process takes place in various stages.
Once the ore is extracted Resolution Copper will undergo primary crushing underground. The crushed rock will then be conveyed underground through a tunnel from Resolution Copper to their private land holdings. It will go north of Superior to an area called West Plant site formerly the historic Magma Mine. There will be a new concentrator built to crush the ore to produce copper concentrate.
As the day continued, Mayor Valenzuela and Councilmembers Gilbert Aguilar and Tameron showed several of the town owned properties to prospective businesses that have an interest in the Town of Superior. The mayor and councilmembers were happy to show the old school, the Belmont Hotel and a few other spaces that may be of interest.