I missed the field trip to Asarco's Mission Mine [right, credit, Asarco] last Saturday but AZGS Phoenix chief Nyal Niemuth was there and provided some updates.
Reserves of 334M tons grading 0.442%
Cu and 0.009% Mo with a 1.47 strip ratio were reported, which will
provide a 16 year mine life. A $22M capital improvement spending program
is underway this year that will include 5 new trucks. Eventually all
the haul truck fleet will be 320 ton Komatsu 930E models, that will require
bigger loaders also. A $60M expenditure has been approved to expand the
South mill and refurbish the Mo circuit. Mo production should restart in
spring 2013 and produce 48K lb/month. A third of the trip was visiting
reclamation of 5,124 acres of tailings and dumps in the northern part of
the property into sustainable Sonoran desert vegetation.