2012 Mining History Association Field Trip

Bagdad Copper Mine, Bagdad, Arizona
June 10, 2012

Tour Host: Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold


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A close-up of a piece of copper oxide ore shows a crystalline cavity in the blue chrysocolla which is recovered by dump leaching.The solvent extraction/electro-winning (SXEW) plant at Bagdad is the second such plant ever built and the oldest one still operating.  Specialized chemicals extract the copper from the leach solutions.

Solutions from the SXEW plant are pumped to the tank house for copper recovery.  About 15% of Bagdad’s copper is produced from the SXEW plant.  The remaining 85% of the copper and 100% of the molybdenum is recovered in the milling operation.

The interior of the tank house contains electrolytic cells in which the copper in solution is plated onto pure copper sheets.

An overhead crane removes the finished copper sheets from the electrolytic cells.

Our Freeport guide, Jeremy, explains the final stages of copper production at Bagdad.

Bob Weldin inspects the final product.

In the high-tech SXEW process quality control is essential.

 

 

Photo Credits: Mike and Pat Kaas

 

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