Asarco: a reliable source for refined copper
One of the key factors in maintaining a reliable supply of product is close control over the flow of materials during the production process. Asarco maintains this control through its integration of operations and by applying quality control production standards.

The coupling of Asarco’s mines with its smelter, two solvent extraction/electro-winning (SX/EW) plants and one of the largest refineries in the world provides a steady supply of a wide variety of refined copper shapes.

Asarco mines have the capacity to produce more than 2/3 billion pounds of copper per year.
Mines, Smelters and Refineries.
Our copper smelter at Hayden, Arizona, ships its output to Asarco’s Amarillo Copper Refinery. Amarillo is ISO 9001:2000 certified and capable of producing in excess of 1 billion pounds of copper per year. It is located near major transportation facilities for prompt delivery to industrial markets all over the world. Asarco’s Ray Unit has the capacity to produce approximately 100 million pounds per year of electrowon copper cathodes from its SX/EW plant. The Company’s Silver Bell Unit produces about 40 million pounds of SX/EW cathodes annually.
The Amarillo Copper Refinery’s 2,400 tanks have the capacity to electrolytically refine in excess of 1 billion pounds of copper annually.
An 11-story oxygen flash smelting furnace at Asarco’s Hayden, Arizona smelter.
Copper cathodes emerge from refining tanks at Asarco’s solvent extraction / electrowinning plant at Ray.
Exploration. To maintain its reliability as a supplier, Asarco conducts an ongoing exploration program for new copper-bearing mineral deposits and continuously drills at existing deposits to expand and delineate the ore body.
How to specify copper shapes
Asarco’s electrolytic copper shapes are made to conform to the specifications of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). The applicable permissible variations specified by ASTM are listed in the tables showing dimensions and weights for the various refinery shapes.
Continuously cast copper rod emerges coiled from a cleaning and coating system.
Stacks of copper cathodes are loaded into box cars for delivery to customers.
Copper cake is hoisted from the casting area at the Amarillo refinery.
Refined copper cathodes should be ordered based upon the required maximum weight of the bundle. An order of Asarco’s continuous-cast copper rod should specify either maximum coil weight or the average coil weight. Six standard cross-sections of cakes are offered and required weights are provided by altering the cake length.