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The Lavender Pit, Cochise County, Bisbee, Arizona, USA

November 24th, 2006 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

The Lavender Pit is an open pit copper mine located at 31.4310 N, 109.9002 W in Cochise County, Bisbee, Arizona. It is located in the near vicinity of the very rich copper deposit the Copper Queen Mine.

Phelps Dodge Corporation started digging the mine in 1951. They extracted 46 million tons of overburden before reaching the valuable ore. It is estimated that over a billion tons of copper was mined from the pit, with good amounts of gold, silver and lead also being extracted. Turquoise was also a by-product of this mining activity. Bisbee turquoise, also known as Bisbee Blue, is amongst the finest turquoise found anywhere in the world. Mining operations in the pit ended in 1974.

Because of the very hard host rock, this pit has much steeper sides than other open pit copper mines in the southwest area. The pit covers an area of 300 acres (1.2 km²), and is 900 feet (274 m) deep. Vast tonnage of dump rock is spread all around Bisbee, notably north of the residential district of Warren at 31.4229 N, 109.8770 W and other parts of the southeastern Mule Mountains area. This dump material, along with the large open hole of the pit and other associated areas, for example at 31.3901 N, 109.8938 W, is considered an ecological disaster by many, but, for its time, Phelps Dodge Corporation was within federal guide lines on mining codes and still is.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Send by: Stryj Edwin

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