COMMUNITY

DISCOVERY CENTER

VISION STATEMENT

The ASARCO Mineral Discovery Center shall communicate the vital importance of the mining industry in our civilization, educate students and teachers in the earth sciences, and preserve part of the mining history of Arizona, and the Western United States.

The ASARCO Mineral Discovery Center offers mine tours, school programs, and free exhibits to carry out this vision. The AMDC is supported primarily by gift shop and ticket sales with additional funding from ASARCO LLC.

Opened in February of 1997, the ASARCO Mineral Discovery Center is designed to convey the vital importance of mining in our civilization. Everything that we use everyday was somehow extracted from the earth — either by farming or by mining, and “if it can’t be grown, it has to be mined.”

THE INDOOR EXHIBITS

You enter the exhibit pod through a model of a ball mill similar to the actual mills that grind copper ore into powder at the nearby Mission mine..

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.

THE OUTDOOR EXHIBITS

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 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!.

SUMMER HOURS (MAY TO OCTOBER)

FREE self-guided center tour and gift shop
Wednesday – Friday, from 9 am – 3 pm
Saturdays and Sunday, 9 am – 5 pm
Closed major holidays

Mine Tours ($)
Saturdays only at 9:30 am, 11:15 am, 1:15 am, 3:00 pm
(Reservations are highly recommended. Please call to book.)
Closed major holidays

WINTER HOURS (NOVEMBER TO APRIL)

FREE self-guided center tour, mine tour ($) and gift shop
Wednesday – Sunday, from 9 am – 5 pm
Mine tours at 9:30 am, 11:15 am, 1:15 am, 3:00 pm
(Reservations are highly recommended. Please call to book.)
Closed major holidays

MINE TOUR PRICES

Adults

$17.50

Seniors (62* years) and Active Military

$14.00

Children (5-12 years)

$7.00

Children (0-4 years)

FREE

Green Valley and Sahuarita residents $1 off the tour with proof of residency

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PHONE NUMBER & ADDRESS

+1 (520) 625-8233
1421 West Pima Mine Road
Sahuarita, Arizona 856629

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE MINE TOUR

  • Please wear close-toed shoes (no heels allowed)
  • Please dress comfortably
  • We suggest bringing water (filtered water station available onsite)

Due to a staffing shortage. Mine tours have a special schedule.
Please call for the most recent updates.

Phone: +1 (520) 625-8233