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Awards > Fray Sustainability

Fray International Sustainability Award




ASARCO was organized in 1899 as American Smelting And Refining COmpany. Originally a consolidation of a number of lead-silver smelting companies, the Company has evolved over the years into an integrated producer of copper, and other metals.

The Company is a fully integrated miner, smelter and refiner of copper in the United States. ASARCO's domestic mines annually produce approximately 350 - 400 million pounds of copper. Significant copper mines include the Mission, Silver Bell and the Ray open-pit mines, all three in Arizona.

M. Ramos President, Grupo Mexico/Asarco
Receiving the Fray International Sustainability Award
by Dr. Florian Kongoli

ASARCO has solvent extraction/electrowinning product at our Ray and Silver Bell mines. ASARCO operates a copper smelter in Hayden, Arizona, which produces almost half a billion pounds of anodes annually. The Company's Amarillo Copper Refinery in Texas and the SX/EW plants at the Ray and Silver Bell mines produce about 375 million pounds of refined copper per year.

ASARCO recognizes and believes that all operations and activities of the Company should be conducted responsibly and in a manner designed to protect the health and safety of its employees, its customers, the public and the environment. ASARCO's operations interact with the environment daily, and consideration of these concerns must be a way of life within the Company. ASARCO is committed to a responsible management of our natural resources.


Company's Environment, Safety and Health (ESH) Policy

  • Conservation of natural resources;
  • Reduction, Recycling and Responsible Management of Wastes;
  • Exercising stewardship over its products and supporting activities that contribute to responsible resource management;
  • Safety, health and well being of its employees, customers and communities in which it operates.

Technology Development
Company has been in the forefront of technogical development. Most notable:

  • Asarco shaft furnace used all over the world for melting anode and refined copper.
  • Development and implementation of air pollution control technologies --electrostatic precipitator, baghouse and acid plants.

Pioneered innovative techniques for reclamation in the arid southwest U.S.:

  • Over a decade long joint project with the Pima County Wastewater Reclamation Department and the University of Arizona on the utilizing biosolids at the Mission Complex.
  • Successful reclamation of tailings dams and waste dump covering 2400 acres in collaboration with the San Xavier District of the Tohono O'odham Nation.

Groundwater Conservation
Company recognizes the importance of water conservation in the arid southwest U.S. :

  • A pumping system was installed in mid-January 2009 to utilize Central Arizona Project (CAP) water for milling operations at the Mission Complex.
  • System includes two variable speed vertical turbine pumps each capable of delivering 7,000 GPM.
  • Utilized in both the South Mill, which operates almost solely on CAP water and the Mission Mill where ground water requirement decreased by approximately 50%.


  • Asarco and Camp Dresser McKee received an excellence award for a water treatment plant at the Upper Blackfoot Mining Complex near Lincoln, Montana from the Design Build Institute of America. The plant incorporated novel ceramic micro-filtration system to treat acid mine drainage to stringent state water quality standards.
  • William Loehr awarded the 2009 Copper Basin Citizen of the Year award for his "unselfish dedication to the community."

Publications and Presentations

  • Krishna Parameswaran co-authored a book in 2005 entitled " Sustainable Mining Practices-A Global Perspective," published by A.A. Balkema Publishers Leiden, The Netherlands).
  • Presentations to university students and professional societies on sustainability considerations in mining, reclamation of mine tailings, water management and siting solar projects on disturbed mine lands.

To Be Updated

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