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Asarco Mineral Discovery Center

Specialty museums, Science museums, Museums
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Address: 1421 West Pima Mine Road, Sahuarita, AZ 85629
Phone Number: 520 625 7513
Website
Description: Opened in February of 1997, the Asarco Mineral Discovery Center (AMDC) is...
Opened in February of 1997, the Asarco Mineral Discovery Center (AMDC) is designed to convey the vital importance of mining in our civilization. Everything that we use everyday was somehow extracted from the earth — either by farming or by mining, and “if it can’t be grown, it has to be mined.”Located 20-minutes south of Tucson, AMDC has an exhibit center, theater and gift shop. For a nominal fee, tours are conducted of Asarco's Mission Mine; an active open-pit copper mine. Tour schedule is subject to change, reservations are recommended.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 45 reviews
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  • 28
    Excellent
  • 13
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
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Most recent review
fantastic tour

Great tour, huge machinery, went to the pit, saw the entire process of getting the copper, must see.

5 of 5 starsReviewed February 26, 2015
golden48
,
Columbus
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45 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Columbus
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2015 NEW

Great tour, huge machinery, went to the pit, saw the entire process of getting the copper, must see.

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Green Valley, Arizona
Top Contributor
152 reviews 152 reviews
29 attraction reviews
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015 NEW

Quite an in depth tour of a huge copper mine, narrated by knowledgeable guides. The tour begins in the Mineral Discovery Center .... guests then board a 40 or so passenger bus that winds through crushing and separating facilities to a parking spot that overlooks the open pit mine. We spent as much time as needed asking Dave, our guide... More 

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Pennsylvania
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2015

This is a place that does group tours 5x a day and they are open Tues to Saturday. This was a spur of the moment excursion for me and I was the last to get in on the tour,so you might be better off having reservations although it's not mandatory. There is a fee for the tour, with discounts for... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Waukesha, Wisconsin
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 1, 2015

We toured the open pit copper mine. It was very interesting and our guide was full of information about the whole operation. Took at bus to the top to view into the pit and learned about how they mine the copper ore. This is a great learning experience for everyone. They also have a very nice gift shop.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Western New York
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2015

This open pit copper mine is a mindbendingly big hole in the ground. They say they have moved seven times as much soil and rock as was excavated to build the Panama Canal. The visitor center was interesting. My one complaint was that there were several videos showing in a small space and the sound overlapped badly. The information about... More 

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Elgin, Illinois
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
22 attraction reviews
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2014

It's an interesting place to learn about open pit mining. They have a nice center with a film & other information. This was all free. Also a nice little gift shop with copper things. It was quite reasonable. You can pay for a tour, which we did, & it takes you to see the actual mining process. There were only... More 

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Tucson, Arizona
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2014

This tour of a large open-pit mine and the large concentrator plant will educate you on minerals extraction and beneficiation. It is suitable for teenagers, college students, adults, and seniors. You will learn about the scope of operations necessary to extract low-grade copper ore, to crush it, to mix it into a slurry, and process it through separators, flotation cells,... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
westbrook, ct
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2014

This is a different and interesting mine and plant tour. I guess it appeals to any one who is interested in technology, manufacturing, or extractive metallurgy. It covers the life cycle of copper from the mine to the semi-refined ore. The tour starts at the ASARCO gift shop where copper items prevail. It proceeds by bus to the rim of... More 

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San Antonio, Texas
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
33 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2014

The mine tour was closed, but the museum was very, very interesting. All different kinds of minerals were on display. The gift shop also had a good collection for sale. The video in the Video Theater gave us a good idea what the open pit mine operation entailed. The best part of our visit was seeing the mine equipment displays... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Austin
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

This is tour was just not suited for my kids (6 and 10) and I imagine it won't be of interest to your kids unless they have some prior fascination with minerals, geology and gemology. Kids just will not appreciate the enormity of the operation. There is a weak introductory movie that was created about 15 years ago. The guide... More 

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