Magma Mine Reclamation
Making the Superior area a cleaner and safer place to live and work
Mining has been an integral part of life in the Copper Triangle since 1863. The industry has contributed much to the region, but also left behind some challenges.
Resolution Copper sits on the site of the old Magma Mine, which operated from the early 1900s until the mid-1990s. While US law requires us to clean up this historic mine site once our own operation ramps up, we’re already taking action.
To date, we’ve restored approximately 130 acres of the site. We’ve removed waste from the old mine, kept storm water from running off the site and into the surrounding areas, and covered historic tailings and waste rock piles with native plants, making what’s left of Magma’s operation better than when we found it from a safety and health perspective. We have invested $40 million in our land reclamation work, and by the time we’re done we will have invested approximately $80 million in the project.
More information on reclamation work is available here: Reclamation Brochure 2018
Resolution Copper is in the process of finalizing plans for the remaining work on the West Plant property. In 2015, we announced that the West Plant reclamation plans include demolition and removal of the Magma Smelter complex, which we understand has cultural and historical value in the Superior community. Multiple technical studies have been conducted on the Smelter structures in recent years. Based on the results of these studies, the company has validated and confirmed that a proactive approach is required to clean contaminants out of the soil and eliminate a safety threat to our employees posed by the unstable Smelter structures. Due to the threat of collapse and falling debris, restoration work is not an option. Removing soil contaminants and rehabilitating the site can only be completed after the Smelter structures are demolished and removed.
We’re committed to playing an instrumental role in preserving Superior’s cultural heritage, and we want to hear from residents about how they would like Resolution Copper to help memorialize the town’s rich mining history. We invite you to email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by our Mine Information Office located at 402 W. Main Street. You can also call us at 520-689-3392 to give your feedback over the phone.
The Resolution Copper team is proud of our work to clean up the Magma Mine site to make it safer. We also understand the historical value of the Smelter complex to Superior residents. We know the chimney stack, in particular, is an important landmark which has come to symbolize the town’s mining history. We are currently completing archaeological and historical documentation of the Smelter stack and buildings. Our focus on reclaiming old mines is making the Superior area a cleaner and safer place to live and work. We’re working to protect the community we live in and, because we hire local people to do the work, it’s creating jobs for our neighbors.
Aerial footage of Magma smelter complex: