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“A good PR job by the Mining industry”

Asarco Mineral Discovery Center
Ranked #2 of 6 things to do in Sahuarita
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Oro Valley, Arizona
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“A good PR job by the Mining industry”
Reviewed September 8, 2012

Grandkids loved the BIG machines. Adults can appreciate the ruination of the environment firsthand. Excellent teaching opportunity for parents and grandparents.

1 Thank Arizonagrandma240
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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114 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Tucson, Arizona
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Fascinating tour and place to visit”
Reviewed August 31, 2012

The tour, the view of the bottom of the mine, and a piece of chrysocola.
We enjoyed the bus ride and the narration, and the gift shop is always a good place to take visitors. We have never left without buying something.

Visited February 2012
2 Thank piffleron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New England
Level 6 Contributor
194 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Open Pit Copper Mining.”
Reviewed July 2, 2012

Ok, this is a very biased review since my Sister is an employee of the mine :-) She took us through the Discovery Center and added all kinds of personal anecdotes on what was displayed there.

That being said, the Center and tour are a very worth while stop on the way to or from Tubac or the Titan Missile Museum. The scope of this kind of mining is not truly understood until you can get to the rim and look down, and stand next to the massive vehicles and equipment that is used to extract the ore from the ground.

Well worth the visit!

Visited August 2011
2 Thank David J H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent, Washington
Level 6 Contributor
202 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“A Worthwhile Sidetrip”
Reviewed May 15, 2012

We stopped here on our way back from the Titan Missile Museum. I only went to placate my husband, but ended up really enjoying the tour. This is an active open pit copper mine, one and a quarter by two and a half miles in size. The bus takes you to the edge of the mine for viewing and the viewpoint has binoculars so you can see the tiny people and trucks at the bottom, 1400 feet down. Those trucks have wheels eleven and a half feet in diameter. They are unbelievably huge. You get a walking tour through the processing plant where they extract the copper from the ore. It is very stinky, but very interesting. This is not a smelter, so you aren't breathing toxic chemical fumes. I'm really glad my husband wanted to see this.

Visited March 2012
3 Thank boomertraveler54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Huge vehicles”
Reviewed April 27, 2012

The tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable. The scale of the operation is amazing: the size of the haul trucks, the 24/7/365 schedule, and the pit depth.

My son loved the seeing the huge trucks in action and being able to touch the smaller trucks (170 ton carrying capacity) near the gift shop. I loved the gift shop--the jewelery is beautiful.

It was educational and enjoyable.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank River_Suwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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