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Key Facts

Commodity Copper, Molybdenum

Arizona, USA
Nearest Landmark: PHOENIX
Distance: 161 Km NW from the nearest Landmark
Latitude: 34° 34' (North)
Longitude: 113° 13' (West)


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Owners Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

194 Mlbs copper & 10 Mlbs molybdenum in 2011

Deposit Type Porphyry copper-molybdenum
Reserves & Resources

Sulphide reserves (Dec/11):

1,038 Mt @ 0.35% copper, 0.021% molybdenum (proven);

229 Mt @ 0.32%, 0.017% molybdenum (probable) 

Mine Type Surface
Mining Method Open pit
Processing Method Flotation & ROM leaching
Mine Life  
Mining Equipment Truck and shovel
Processing equipment Flotation and a separate leaching system with an SX/EW operation
Contact Information

100 Main St.
P.O. Box 245
Bagdad, AZ
USA 86321
Phone:(502) 633-2241
Fax:(502) 633-4260


Last updated: May 4, 2012


The Bagdad copper mine is located in west-central Arizona, USA, approximately 161 km northwest of Phoenix. The operation encompasses approximately 8,797 hectares comprising 8,554 hectares of patented mining claims and other fee lands, and 243 hectares of unpatented mining claims.

First claims were staked in 1882. Property changed ownership numerous times through first half of 20th century. First mill began operation in 1928 to process ore from the underground mine. Transition to open-pit mining began in 1945. A $240 million expansion in 1973 included new haul trucks, shovels, nearly 400 housing units and concentrator.

The present day operation consists of an open-pit mine, sulfide ore concentrator producing copper and molybdenum concentrates, and a leaching system with an SX/EW operation producing copper cathode. The operation consists of a 77,000 tonne per day expanded sulphide ore concentrator producing copper and molybdenum concentrates, and an oxide low grade sulphide ore dump leaching system with a SX-EW plant producing copper cathode.

Bagdad is home to the world’s first commercial-scale concentrate leach processing facility (2003) and one of the longest continuously operating SX/EW plant in the world (1970). An unincorporated community, Bagdad is one of two Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold “company towns.” The other is Morenci, Arizona.



Located in Yavapai County in west-central Arizona, USA, approximately 161 km northwest of Phoenix. The property can be reached by Arizona Highway 96, which ends at the town of Bagdad. The closest railroad is at Hillside, Arizona, approximately 24 miles southeast on Arizona Highway 96.

The Bagdad operation encompasses approximately 8,797 hectares comprising 8,554 hectares of patented mining claims and other fee lands, and 243 hectares of unpatented mining claims.

Bagdad is a copper mining community one of the only two remaining company towns in Arizona Morenci being the other one.

Bagdad is located in a desert environment with rainfall averaging 15 inches per year. The highest bench elevation is 1,200 meters above sea level and the ultimate pit bottom is expected to be 310 meters above sea level.

The 11,100 ha Upper Creek Wilderness Area is located approximately 16 km north of the town of Bagdad.



Geology and Mineralization

Mineralization is contained in NE-trending Precambrian Schists and Gneiss intruded by quartz monzonite porphyry stocks and dikes of Larimide age.

The Bagdad mine is developed on a porphyry copper deposit that has leachable oxide and secondary sulfide mineralization, and millable primary sulfide mineralization.

The predominant oxide copper minerals are chrysocolla, malachite and azurite; chalcocite is the most important secondary copper sulfide mineral, and chalcopyrite and molybdenite the dominant primary sulfides.

Mining & Operation

The open-pit mining operations have been ongoing since 1945. The deposit was mined through underground workings prior to 1945.

The available mining fleet consists of 30 235−metric ton haul trucks loaded by five shovels with bucket sizes ranging from 40 to 56 cubic meters, which are capable of moving over 200,000 metric tons of material per day.

As of December 31, 2011 recoverable proven and probable reserves (sulphide and oxides) were estimated at 8.6 billion pounds copper, 0.1 Moz gold, 0.4 Mlbs molybdenum and 35.0 Moz silver. 


The Bagdad operation consists of a 75,000 metric ton-per-day concentrator that produces copper and molybdenum concentrates, and an SX/EW plant that produces copper cathode from solution generated by low-grade ROM leaching and from conversion of a portion of mill copper concentrates in a concentrate-leach plant.

 Processes and facilities: Concentrator, SX/EW plant and a pressure leach plant to process molybdenum concentrate.  Molybdenum production at the Bagdad mill ranges from 8 million to 11 million pounds per year.

The majority of concentrate produced is smelted at company's Miami, Arizona, facility. Additionally, up to 35 million pounds per year are produced as cathode from the SX/EW and concentrate-leach plants and up to 20 million pounds per year from the ROM leaching system. Total projected annual copper production over the next three years is expected to range from 200 to 225 million pounds.

Bagdad receives electrical power from Arizona Public Service Company.


Environment & Community

As of 2012, the company thinks that the Bagdad operation has sufficient water sources but announced that it is part to a litigation that may set legal precedents, which could adversely affect its water rights at Bagdad.


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