2011 Mining History Association Tour

Phelps-Dodge Copper Rod Plant

Claypool, Arizona

June 3, 2006

The Phelps-Dodge Copper Rod Plant (owned by Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold since a 2007 merger) is located in Claypool, Arizona, between Globe and Miami.  This modern plant melts pure copper cathode sheets from copper refineries and casts coils of copper rod for wire producers.  The rod plant is across the highway from the Phelps-Dodge (now Freeport-McMoRan) Miami Mine and Smelter.  These operations were originally part of the Inspiration Consolidated Copper Company which along with the Miami Copper Company and the International Smelting and Refining Company began operations in 1909, 1907, and 1915 respectively.  The original underground mines have been converted to open pits with dump leaching of low grade copper ore.  The smelter has been reconstructed with modern technology that meets air pollution regulations.


(Written by Mike Kaas, 2011)




Incoming Refined Copper Cathode Sheets at the Phelps-Dodge Rod Plant, Miami, Arizona
View of the Melting Furnace

Another View of the Melting Furnace

Continuous Casting of Copper Rod from Molten Copper

Packaging the Coils of Copper Rod

Coils of Copper Rod in the Warehouse Ready for Shipment

MHAers Discussing the Process with the Phelps-Dodge Staff

Just Down the Road, the Phelps-Dodge Miami Mine and Smelter near the Site of the Historic Inspiration Copper Mine and International Smelter 



Photo Credits Johnny Johnsson


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