The hardrock mining industry owns gold, silver, and other precious metals and minerals beneath an estimated 641,883 acres of U.S. public land in Arizona, resources worth millions of dollars a year, acquired for as little as $0.84 per acre and held in perpetuity for a yearly rental fee as low as $0.62 an acre. Under a 132-year-old law originally intended to spur development of the West, an industry dominated by a handful of multinational corporations pays no federal royalties, and leaves behind a landscape of dramatically diminished value, scarred with tunnels, pits, and toxic waste piles.
|Quick facts about mining claims in Arizona|
Total number of claim-holders: 4,033
Acres of public land claimed by the mining industry, estimated: 641,883 (1 of every 56 acres of public land in Arizona)
Dollars paid for each acre: as little as $0.84, and as little as $0.62 yearly rental fee
Reimbursement to the federal government for gold, silver and other precious metals taken from public land: $0
Companies owning minerals on at least 10,000 public acres: 26
Percentage of claims held by foreign companies: 16%
Land area ever claimed by the mining industry nationally, estimated: 79 million acres (the size of New Mexico)
EWG analysis of data compiled by the Bureau of Land Management.
Companies have been consolidated to account for subsidiaries. View this table without consolidation.
|Company/Individual||Headquarters||Number of Claims||Acreage Claimed||Date(s) Filed|
|1||Phelps Dodge Mining Co||Phoenix, AZ||4,065||67,581||1906 to 2000|
|2||ASARCO, a subsidiary of Grupo Mexico||World HQ in Mexico||2,784||53,506||1898 to 2003|
|3||Dorene Gerwitz||Tucson, AZ||120||19,200||1986 to 1993|
|4||Carrie Lynn Martin||Tucson, AZ||120||19,200||1986 to 1993|
|5||Dennis J Martin||Tucson, AZ||120||19,200||1986 to 1993|
|6||Irene Martin||Tucson, AZ||120||19,200||1986 to 1993|
|7||Thomas M Martin||Tucson, AZ||120||19,200||1986 to 1993|
|8||Jacquelyn Smiley||Phoenix, AZ||120||19,200||1986 to 1993|
|9||BHP Billton||World HQ in Australia||942||18,940||1903 to 2002|
|10||Sands Mining & Invst||Phoenix, AZ||118||18,880||1986 to 1993|
|See all claim holders in Arizona|
Some of the claimants in this table may be in partnership with other individuals or companies with a claim to the same land.
|County||Number of Claims||Estimated Acreage|
|5||La Paz County||1,506||54,073||details||map|
|See all counties|
|Name of Mine||Location of Mine||Mine Status||Metal Mined||Owner or Parent Company of Owner|
|Miami Copper (sx-ew) Mine||Gila County, AZ||Closed||Copper Ore||Phelps Dodge|
|San Manuel||Pinal County, AZ||Closed||Copper Ore||BHP Billiton|
|Mission Complex||Pima County, AZ||Open||Copper Ore||ASARCO|
|Morenci||Greenlee County, AZ||Open||Copper Ore||Phelps Dodge|
|Sierrita Copper Mine||Pima County, AZ||Open||Copper Ore||Phelps Dodge|
|Silver Bell Copper (sw-ex)||Pima County, AZ||Open||Copper Ore||ASARCO|
|Copper Queen Branch Mine||Cochise County, AZ||Closed||Copper Ore||Phelps Dodge|
|Pinto Valley||Gila County, AZ||Closed||Copper Ore||BHP Billiton|
|Johnson Camp Mine||Cochise County, AZ||Suspended||Copper Ore||Nord Copper Corporation|
|Ray Copper Mine||Pinal County, AZ||Open||Copper Ore||ASARCO|
|See more mines in Arizona|
Source: EWG analysis.