The mine’s history dates back more than a century. The original claims were discovered in 1882. The huge open-pit is in the Eureka mining district, located 65 miles west of Prescott. This arid, semi-desert is a region of hot, dry winds and 115 degree temperatures. Test drilling showed more than 303 million tons of copper-ore reserves lay within easy access.
Cyprus Bagdad initiated new environmental programs on this expansion. Electric trucks, dust control, and revegetation programs have prevented blighting of this desert region. Construction of a new tailings pond that recycles reclaimed water back to the mill not only saves water, it contributes to the overall efficiency of the operation.
The Client, in conjunction with the University of Arizona, in Tucson, pioneered revegetation techniques to remove signs of former mining operations. In a region that receives less than 10 inches of rainfall a year, on mine tailings devoid of nutrients, Cyprus agronomists developed a new strain of grass to enhance an ambitious revegetation program. Cyprus experimented with over 5,000 different species of barley to develop a new strain of grass to grow in the sandy, high silica tailings.