Saturday, January 07, 2012

Legislation calls for AZGS to create mining & mineral museum

State Rep. Eddie Ableser (D-Tempe) introduced legislation [HB2086] directing the Arizona Geological Survey to establish a mineral and mining museum. It would also remove the mining and mineral components of the currently proposed Centennial Museum [right] that is planned for the former Arizona Mining & Mineral Museum building in Phoenix.

We have had no conversations with Rep. Ableser about his bill and were not aware it was being drafted.

The key language to be added to the AZGS state statutes is:

The department [AZGS] shall maintain a mining and mineral museum as the state depository for collecting, and cataloging and displaying mining artifacts and specimens, of various ores, gemstones, lapidary material and equipment and other valuable documents relating to mining and minerals mineral specimens. In connection with the museum, the state geologist may:

1. Establish and collect entrance fees to the museum for persons who are at least eighteen years of age.

2. Operate a retail gift shop, including the acquisition, purchase and resale of mineral specimens and mineral-related items.

3. Employ a curator for the museum.

4. Pay the necessary maintenance and operation expenses of the museum.


  1. Anonymous2:02 PM

    I think this bill is a great idea.

    The state has not been able to raise enough funds to create their new museum presently referred to as the Experience Museum. AHS is not qualified to care or display the minerals given to their care. The former mineral museum had approximately 3000-3500 minerals that were on display, and the area AHS has designated in the new museum would probably house 300-350 minerals if lucky. This is not HOUSING the former AMMM. The people, teachers and children want the old museum to return so the education of mining and minerals can be taught and people visiting can learn about the importance of minerals in their lives.

    The present statutes of the last bill passed have been completely ignored by Governor Brewer and AHS. We need a professional organization such as AGS to reinstate the museum and once again have the "over" 200 school groups that come each year access the museum for mineral education. The outside equipment needs to stay (AHS wants to move it even though the statutes say it is to stay) and once again demonstrate it to the public by the knowledgeable volunteers who built it and know how to maintain and run it. The stamp mill is only one of about a dozen that runs in the USA. We are a mining state and we should have a museum reflecting our minerals, history, and future of mining. We had that until someone repurposed a fine museum.

  2. Anonymous7:05 PM

    The problem with this bill is that it does not transfer the old mineral museum into AZGS hands, and they would need to find their own building. It would also take away all responsibility for AHS to house the mineral museum, to dispose of the mining equipment, and free them up to ruin a fine museum that took years to create.

  3. Anonymous1:17 PM

    I think this bill will stimulate the kind of problem-solving that needs to happen. It clearly
    addresses current problems: the Mining and Mineral Museum is closed, rather than "housed" and the children who used it are the victims; the historic and well-attended MMM should not be under the Historical Society, but under a
    the Historical Society, but rather under a
    scientific group. Opportunity becons to form a
    coalition of scientific groups, like AZGS, ASU Geology Dept., and the newly formed Earth Science Museum group, and the Flagg Mineral
    Foundation. Think about it, bills always need
    clarification and change, but this is a start!

  4. It is absolutely essential that some form of this bill be passed. Prior legislation transferred all documents and records from the former Department of Mines and Mineral Resources to the AZGS. The state mineral collection however, was inappropriately transferred to the Arizona Historical Society. The irreplaceable minerals specimens and documents should both be under a single state agency with appropriate scientific credentials.

  5. Anonymous6:49 PM

    I have lost count of the number of times either the OSPB or the EBO has proposed placing the Az Mineral Museum under the umbrella of the AZGS since I moved to AZ in 1984. Every time Polly Rosenbaum and/or Phelps Dodge blocked it. What was best for the Museum or the people of the State was never under consideration. Mrs. Rosenbaum is gone and PD's successor turned on the Museum, so where's the controversy now?? The bill is short on details, but the prospect gives me hope. The AZGS has always been professionally-run. I wouldn't expect anything less than an excellent museum under its auspices.