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Asarco Mineral Discovery Center

Science Museums, Specialty 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

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  • 25
    Excellent
  • 12
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
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Most recent review
Unbelievably huge opepration

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... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed January 22, 2015
Bob P
,
Western New York
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41 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Western New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2015 NEW

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
63 reviews 63 reviews
22 attraction reviews
50 helpful votes 50 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
Contributor
18 reviews 18 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
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
44 helpful votes 44 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
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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Tucson
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 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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Andover
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
13 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 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
Contributor
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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USA
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 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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