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Asarco Mineral Discovery Center

1421 West Pima Mine Road, Sahuarita, AZ 85629
520 625 7513
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Ranked #2 of 4 Attractions in Sahuarita
Type: Science Museums, Specialty Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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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39 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Tucson, Arizona
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 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
22 reviews 22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
42 helpful votes 42 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
29 helpful votes 29 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
18 reviews 18 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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Top Contributor
79 reviews 79 reviews
13 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

I took a young friend to the Mineral Discovery Center (no charge) and the mine tour (reasonable charge). The Center has displays and boards that provide interesting information about the history of the mine and mining process -- a good presentation. 30 minutes in the Discovery Center should do it unless you really dive into the details, and the videos.... More

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Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
13 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

Stumbled on this on the way to Mt. Hopkins, NOT following Suri's directions, and glad we came back. Did not have time for the tour, but sounded very interesting. ASARCO is in a tough position: they are involved in one of the dirtiest industries in the world, and their operation is HUGE, so it's not like it wouldn't be noticed.... More

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East of Yuma
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

This was like one kewl tour that I hadn't expected. For me it was kinda like spur of the moment. The big mine truck displayed just off I-19 caught my eye so I thought I'd go see wut it was all about. As I walked into the main visitor center I was amazed at how nice the museum/gift shop was.... More

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14 reviews 14 reviews
6 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2014

The low cost of the tour feels like it is done for PR, but it was really a good experience regardless. It starts with an explanation of the copper mining process, and then we were bussed to the actual working mine, where we saw both the indoor and outdoor mining processes. It was a great learning experience and we were... More

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Buena Vista, Colorado
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
8 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2014

When in Tucson, be sure to visit this site and take the tour; the price is quite moderate. It is best to have reservations ahead because each tour is limited in size to the capacity of the small bus used to drive you around, about 24 people, and the tours fill up quickly. You can walk-in as we did, but... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Lakeside, California
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
12 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2014

On the morning we were leaving Tucson we stopped at the ASARCO Mineral Discovery Center to see if we could get on a tour. We lucked out and were able to get in. The mining operation is amazing. It is only more amazing when you consider how much work is required to produce such a small amount of copper and... More

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