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Safford Mine (Dos Pobres Mine; Dos Pobres ore body; Los Pobres; Safford Phelps Dodge; Phelps Dodge Safford project; Arrowhead Mine), Lone Star District (Safford District; Dos Pobres District), Gila Mts, Graham Co., Arizona, USAi
Regional Level Types
Safford Mine (Dos Pobres Mine; Dos Pobres ore body; Los Pobres; Safford Phelps Dodge; Phelps Dodge Safford project; Arrowhead Mine)Mine (Active)
Lone Star District (Safford District; Dos Pobres District)Mining District
Gila MtsMountain Range
Graham Co.County

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Lock Map
Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 32° 57' 41'' North , 109° 40' 26'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 32.96139,-109.67389
GeoHash:G#: 9tf5823yj
USGS MRDS Record:10096999
Owned/operated by:Freeport-McMoRan (100%)
Locality type:Mine (Active) - last checked 2018
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate
Nearest Settlements:
Safford9,683 (2017)14.5km
Thatcher4,992 (2017)14.8km
Bryce175 (2011)14.8km
Central645 (2011)15.2km
Pima2,524 (2017)16.1km

An surface and underground Cu-Mo-Au-Ag mine located in secs. 27 & 28, T5S, R26E, 9 miles N of Safford, on private property. Discovered 1957 by prospectors. Unpatented claims extend into secs. 7, 8, 17-19, 21, 25, 26, 29-31 of T5S, R26E. Patented claims extend into secs. 22, 23, 26-28, 33-35 of T5S, R26E. Section 21 is a state lease in T5S, R26E. Owned by the Phelps Dodge Corp. (1960). Additional names that apply to this property: BLM patented claims MS 4579; Bryce; Greater Arrowhead group.

Mineralization is an irregular and massive ore body 1200 meters long with a depth to top of 740 meters, and a thickness of 114 meters. The ore body is hosted in quartz monzonite and diorite. Ore control was NE fractures and dikes. Ore concentration was supergene enrichment. Alteration was hydrothermal and oxidation.

Area structures include the NW-striking Butte Fault.

Workings are 762 meters deep. Optioned October 1957 from Ruskin Lines by Phelps Dodge. Began drilling November 21, 1957 and exercised option to purchase in 1960. Began shaft sinking and underground development November 1968. By July 1979, had drilled 189,000 feet rotary and diamond drill holes and developed 79,000 feet of shafts, drifts, and cross-cuts. Underground development suspended in 1982 and workings were allowed to flood in August 1984. By 1991 drilling and development work had resumed. Proposed that this deposit be mined by block caving. Reserve-Resource is sulfide; leachable.; Total resource ore contains 0.003 to 0.009% Mo.

The Safford mine includes two copper deposits that have oxide mineralization overlaying primary copper sulfide mineralization. The predominant oxide copper minerals are chrysocolla and copper-bearing iron oxides with the predominant copper sulfide material being chalcopyrite.

Safford is a mine-for-leach operation and produces copper cathodes. The operation consists of two open pits feeding a crushing facility with a capacity of 103,000 metric tons-per-day. The crushed ore is delivered to leach pads by a series of overland and portable conveyors. Leach solutions feed a solution extraction/electrowinning (SX/EW) facility.

The current Safford mine has been in operation since 2007, with full production beginning in 2008.

Regions containing this locality

North America PlateTectonic Plate
Sonoran Desert, North AmericaDesert

Select Mineral List Type

Standard Detailed Strunz Dana Chemical Elements

Commodity List

This is a list of exploitable or exploited mineral commodities recorded at this locality.

Mineral List

6 valid minerals.

Detailed Mineral List:

Formula: Cu5FeS4
Reference: MRDS database Dep. ID #10096999, MRDS ID #M001628.
Formula: Cu2S
Reference: MRDS database Dep. ID #10096999, MRDS ID #M001628.
Formula: CuFeS2
Reference: MRDS database Dep. ID #10096999, MRDS ID #M001628.
Formula: Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Reference: MRDS database Dep. ID #10096999, MRDS ID #M001628.
Formula: MoS2
Reference: MRDS database Dep. ID #10096999, MRDS ID #M001628.
Formula: FeS2
Reference: MRDS database Dep. ID #10096999, MRDS ID #M001628.

List of minerals arranged by Strunz 10th Edition classification

Group 2 - Sulphides and Sulfosalts
Group 9 - Silicates
Chrysocolla9.ED.20Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O

List of minerals arranged by Dana 8th Edition classification

Group 2 - SULFIDES
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 2:1
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 3:2
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:1
AmBnXp, with (m+n):p = 1:2
Group 74 - PHYLLOSILICATES Modulated Layers
Modulated Layers with joined strips
Chrysocolla74.3.2.1Cu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O

List of minerals for each chemical element

H ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
O ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Al ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Si ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
S BorniteCu5FeS4
S ChalcociteCu2S
S ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
S MolybdeniteMoS2
S PyriteFeS2
Fe BorniteCu5FeS4
Fe ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Fe PyriteFeS2
Cu BorniteCu5FeS4
Cu ChalcociteCu2S
Cu ChalcopyriteCuFeS2
Cu ChrysocollaCu2-xAlx(H2-xSi2O5)(OH)4 · nH2O
Mo MolybdeniteMoS2

Regional Geology

This geological map and associated information on rock units at or nearby to the coordinates given for this locality is based on relatively small scale geological maps provided by various national Geological Surveys. This does not necessarily represent the complete geology at this locality but it gives a background for the region in which it is found.

Click on geological units on the map for more information. Click here to view full-screen map on Macrostrat.org

2.588 - 5.333 Ma

ID: 3192320
Cenozoic volcanic rocks

Age: Pliocene (2.588 - 5.333 Ma)

Lithology: Volcanic rocks

Reference: Chorlton, L.B. Generalized geology of the world: bedrock domains and major faults in GIS format: a small-scale world geology map with an extended geological attribute database. doi: 10.4095/223767. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 5529. [154]

Ypresian - Campanian
47.8 - 83.6 Ma

ID: 2935489
Early Tertiary to Late Cretaceous volcanic rocks

Age: Phanerozoic (47.8 - 83.6 Ma)

Stratigraphic Name: Williamson Canyon Volcanics

Description: Rhyolite to andesite and closely associated sedimentary and near-surface intrusive rocks; commonly dark gray to dark greenish gray or greenish brown. In the ranges west of Tucson, this unit includes thick welded ash-flow tuffs. Volcanic rocks of this unit are inferred to be derived from vents and volcanoes above magma chambers that solidified to form the granitic rocks of map unit TKg. These rocks are restricted to southeastern Arizona except for a small outcrop near Bagdad. (50-82 Ma)

Comments: Related, broadly, to unit TKg Original map source: Arizona Geological Survey, DI-8 Geologic Map of Arizona, Digital Spatial data for the Geologic Map of Arizona, v. 3.0, edited by S.M. Richard and S.M. Kneale, 2002, 10 p., 2 DOS HD disks. Arc/INFO export file (.e00) format, scale 1:1,000,000.

Lithology: Major:{rhyolite,dacite,andesite}, Minor:{clastic}

Reference: Horton, J.D., C.A. San Juan, and D.B. Stoeser. The State Geologic Map Compilation (SGMC) geodatabase of the conterminous United States. doi: 10.3133/ds1052. U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1052. [133]

Data and map coding provided by Macrostrat.org, used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License


Sort by

Year (asc) Year (desc) Author (A-Z) Author (Z-A)
Robinson, R.F. and Cook, A. (1966) Safford Copper Deposit, Lone Star Mining District, Graham County, Arizona, in: Titley, S.R. and Hicks, C., Geology of the Porphyry Copper Deposits, Southwestern North America: Tucson, University of Arizona Press: 250-266.
Pay Dirt (1973) Phelps Dodge Evaluating Test Results at Safford, No. 412 (10/29/73): 24.
Mining Record (1974) Phelps Dodge to Spend $30 Million at Arizona Copper Mine: 85(7) (2/13/74).
World Mining (1974) Phelps Dodge Accelerates Safford Underground Development, (May, 1974): 27(5).
Pay Dirt (1975) Phelps Dodge Okays More Development at Safford, No. 416 (2/25/75): 3.
Pay Dirt (1975) Cities Service Joins Hunt for Safford Area Copper, No. 435 (Sep 22, 75): 52.
Skillings, David N., Jr. (1975) Phelps Dodge Corp's Safford Copper Project, Skillings Mining Review: 64(8) (2/22/75): 1, 6.
Dunn, P.G. (1978) Geologic structure of the Safford district, Arizona, in Jenney, J.P., and Hauck, H.R., eds., Proceedings of the Porphyry Copper Symposium, Tucson, Arizona, March 18-20, 1976: Arizona Geological Society Digest: 11: 9-15.
Greeley (1978) Arizona Department of Mineral Resources Special Report #2.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management Mining Claims Lead File #4003 (Jul, 1980).
Eastern Arizona Courier (1981) Mine Cut-Back Announced, Aug 26, 1981.
Langton, J.M. and S.A. Williams (1982) Structural, Petrological and Mineralogical Controls for the Dos Pobres Orebody, in Advances in Geology of the Porphyry Copper Deposits, edited by Titley, S.R. Tucson, University of Arizona Press: 335-352.
U.S. Bureau of Land Management Mining District Sheets 815 & 816.
Sawyer, M.B., Gurmendi, A.C., Daley, M.R., and Howell, S.B. (1992) Principal Deposits of Strategic and Critical Minerals in Arizona, U.S. Bureau of Mines Special Publication, 334 pp.
USGS Safford Quadrangle map.
Arizona Department of Mineral Resources Greater Arrowhead group file.
Arizona Department of Mineral Resources Phelps Dodge Corp. (Safford Branch), active file.
Arizona Department of Mineral Resources Superior Safford property file.
MRDS database Dep. ID #10096999, MRDS ID #M001628; and Dep. ID #10161266, MAS ID #0040090227; and Dep. ID #10282581, MAS ID #0040090004.

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