Flight over the Morenci Copper Mine May 11, 2020

Flight over the Morenci Copper Mine May 11, 2020

Camera: GoPro Hero 7 Black shot at 2.7K/30 wingtip mount on Vans RV6A aircraft
Editor: Cyberlink PowerDirector16 speeded up 2X to shorten video. No other editing done except to cut portions to keep the video length within reason.

The Morenci mine is located 50 miles NE of Safford, AZ on Rt 191.

From their website: Morenci is the largest copper producer in North America and remains a major contributor to Phelps’s copper output, which is second only to that of Chile’s Codelco. The operation employs approximately 2,000 people who work 8h or 12h shift rotations.

Phelps mined underground until the 1930s depression, converting to an open-cut operation with rail haulage in 1937. The topography prevented development as a single pit: today the working area extends across 2.5km x 2.2km but is worked as three pits: the Metcalf (within the original Morenci pit), the NWX (Northwest Extension) and the Coronado.

Electric rotary rigs, mainly made by Bucyrus, drill blast holes and P&H 4100 and 2800 series electric rope shovels load the truck fleet. This includes more than 60 Caterpillar units, both 793 (218 ton capacity) and 797 (272 ton) models.

Waste is mainly used to backfill the Morenci pit, while the ore, which averaged 0.29% Cu in 2004, is hauled to in-pit primary crushers. The Morenci mine produced 902 million pounds of copper in 2015.


  1. Dash Overton on July 4, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Isn’t that where the famous and beautiful Morenci turquoise comes from?

  2. Bill Cochran on July 4, 2021 at 11:01 am

    I retired last August from FMI after having worked in the mine for 44 years.

  3. DT on July 4, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Nightmarish environmental catastrophe😭

  4. Peter Henden on July 4, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Been there. Very impressive to see in person!

  5. 2005hdrk on July 4, 2021 at 11:33 am

    Wow! That is huge and impressive in a sense. On the other hand it’s amazing how "destructive" man and machines can be. Just Wow! Glad you made the trip.

  6. Connie Chapman on July 4, 2021 at 11:41 am

    This is my office. There are many like it but this one is mine😎😂😂😂

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