The dirty toxic REALITY:

Piles, Pits and Ponds

Scenic Views of Morenci operations — just the enhancement that every forest needs!

Looking down from the White Mountains onto the Morinci operations below.

It's quite a contrast of realities as you encounter the mining operations

We meet the hardrock mining reality...

Former forests are now pits that have to be fenced off

The mining operations have closed in on State Highway 191

Dead, crushed trees are piled beside Highway 191.

Waste piles are an endless reality...

Impoundments hold the toxic slurry of waste: processing chemicals and milled minerals and heavy metals.

The Piles:

Waste piles showing leaching of metals and chemicals (acid mine drainage) at Sierrita mine in Green Valley, AZ

Waste piles line State Highway 177 between Superior and Hayden, Arizona

More waste piles along State Highway 177 between Superior and Hayden, Arizona


The Pits:

The Ray Pit on Highway 177 between Superior and Hayden (the mining town of Ray disappeared into the pit, so the miners lost their homes, gradens, and memories--copper was more important!)

The big pit at Chino, NM

The pit at Sierrita, Green Valley, AZ

The Ponds:

    The Sierrita 3,600 acre tailing pond — scenic view
Close-up view: sides of impoundment dams are made of dried tailings (ie. crushed waste minerals)  — which is a lot and acts like cement.

    Morenci Tailings Pond in background—a perpetual hazard for migrating birds

Another type of pond —sulfuric acid solution for copper leaching

Sulfuric acid leaching ponds at Sierrita (Tailing Impoundment in background)--another hazard for birds

And a few spills—

Kingman, Arizona

And a lot of dust—

  Dust off Milling Operations at Morenci

   Dust off Waste Piles at Moab, Utah

  Dust of Tailing Impoundments at ASARCO Mission mine in Sahaurita, AZ

Mining Town — Miami, Arizona

If mining is so lucrative, why does Arizona's "copper triangle" look like a third-world country?

Miami has been a mining town, supported by mining and smelting operations of major mining companies, Cyrus-Amax, Phelps Dodge and BHP for over 50 years--without pause. Where did all the profits go??

Miami's main street: No refurbishing or upgrades here in 50 years even though to major mining companies had operations nearby

That's my home town!!

Milling area on north side of Superior, AZ



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