than three-and-a-half tons of ASARCO copper!
The Mineral Discovery Center consists of two hexagonal pods capped by copper roofs. The south pod hosts temporary exhibits and our gift shop, The Company Store. The north pod contains our permanent exhibits and Discovery Theater. There is no admission charge for the Mineral Discovery Center exhibits, Discovery Theater, or gift shop.
Visitors enter the exhibits through a simulated ball mill.
As you walk into the exhibit area, you’ll come face-to-face with an enormous back-lit photo mural showing an aerial view of the Asarco Mission Complex.
On one side of the room are exhibits that illustrate how the natural processes in the earth form copper deposits and how miners extract the copper minerals from the rock to produce 99.99% pure copper metal.
The other side of the room demonstrates common uses of copper in our everyday lives.
All around us, in our every day lives, many of the technologies we depend on need copper. From your phone, your car, the construction of your house, to great works of art, copper is an integral part of our modern life.
A growing collection of historic mining equipment is located on the grounds of the Mineral Discovery Center. The equipment helps tell the story of mining from the perspective of the size of the tools that were used in the past. The centerpiece of the collection is a wooden head frame built in the early 1900’s.
It originally stood over the Copper Glance mine located about five miles south of the Mineral Discovery Center near the old mining town of Twin Buttes. The earliest records we have found indicate it was built in 1908.
One of the largest trucks on display is our Komatsu 830-E with a loading capacity of 240 tons! Also on display are two retired haul trucks that carried only 75 and 170 tons of material. The largest trucks now used at ASARCO can carry up to 400 tons!
“Let’s Do Lunch” at the Mineral Discovery Center
Our desert-landscaped picnic area offers tables adjacent to the historic mining equipment display with easy access to the parking lot and rest rooms.