My wife and I both love industrial tours, but it seems that fewer companies want to offer them these days. Liability, whatever. So we salute Asarco for offering this tour! Here the tour goes right into the heart of the operation, and the guides really know their stuff.
The scale of the mine is astounding. I could have lingered at the overlook into the pit to watch for much longer if only time allowed. The only thing cooler would have been to be present when they blast another big chunk of rock loose, which happens once a day.
As for environmental impact, sure, there is a huge hole and a collosal mountain of waste. But the mine doesn't seem to really hurt anything other than one's esthetics - no smoke, no dirty water. It does displace wildlife, but then the sprawl of greater Tucson does so to a much greater degree. Plus, in a few more decades, the mine will close and nature will start to reclaim the site. So let your conscience be eased and enjoy the monster trucks.
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