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Florence Copper Inc.
1575 West Hunt Highway , Florence, Arizona, United States

Memberships : NA
Industry : Coal
Basic Member
Since Apr, 2020
About Company

Florence Copper is located in the historic Copper Corridor of Arizona – a region steeped in copper mining history. The project offers a unique opportunity to provide strong economic benefits to the community of Florence and the state of Arizona with minimal environmental impact. During its lifetime, Florence Copper is estimated to create close to 500 jobs for Pinal County and generate $3.4 billion in economic activity for the state of Arizona.  The Florence Copper deposit is rare. Unlike most copper deposits, this one is naturally porous and shattered, which allows the copper to be extracted with minimal environmental impact.  Currently, Florence Copper is operating its Production Test Facility (PTF). The PTF is a one to two year demonstration of in-situ copper recovery. This state-of-the-art method requires no open pit, no tunneling, no blasting, no waste dumps, and none of the large equipment typically associated with traditional mining activity. The first copper cathode was produced in April 2019.  Once the mining process is complete, the land will look much as it does today and can be used in a variety of ways: parkland, residential, commercial or manufacturing activities, or simply returned to its natural desert landscape.

In-situ Copper Recovery

Copper is called the "green" metal. It is 100% recyclable. It’s a renewable, sustainable resource. Copper is essential to our modern lifestyles – it’s the primary conduit of electricity to homes and an essential element in electric cars, computers, cell phones, wind turbines and more. At Florence, the deposit contains 2.4 billion pounds of copper within 340 million tons of probable reserves.  Florence Copper Inc. proposes to build and operate an in-situ copper recovery (ISCR) facility in Florence, Arizona. This process occurs from 400 to 1,200 feet below ground in a bedrock layer beneath the lower aquifer unit where drinking water supplies are withdrawn. The in-situ process uses a mild mixture of 99.5% water and 0.5% sulfuric acid that slowly dissolves copper in the bedrock. This diluted solution, which is the same acidic strength as common household vinegar, is pumped under low pressure through injection wells to dissolve the copper within the copper oxide zone. Copper-rich solution is pumped to the surface through recovery wells for processing into pure copper cathode sheets.

Construction of the $25 million Phase 1 Production Test Facility (PTF) is well underway.

  The PTF is a small-scale test facility with 24 wells including four injection wells, nine recovery wells, and 15 groundwater monitoring-related wells. This pilot test will demonstrate to local residents and regulatory agencies such as EPA and ADEQ that in-situ copper recovery (ISCR) is a safe and proved process. During the PTF period, Florence Copper will also demonstrate and enhance the best water management practices employed at the site to maximize efficient water and use and optimize new water treatment technologies.  Interestingly, this won't be the first ISCR facility on this property. EPA and ADEQ approved a similar test project that operated successfully in the late 1990's. Florence Copper's PTF will further test and refine the in-situ method of extracting copper underground and demonstrate to regulators and the community that this process can be done responsibly and effectively while protecting water quality at all times.  Upon successful operation of the PTF, the next step is full commercial production, which is expected to last 25 years. Over the full commercial life of the Florence Copper project, it is projected to start up at an annual production rate of 55 million pounds of copper and then reach an average of 85 million pounds annually until the 20th year. The remaining five years will be dedicated to clean closure of the facility in full compliance with applicable federal and state laws.

What is In-situ Copper Recovery (ISCR)?

In-situ copper recovery is an environmentally responsible way of extracting copper from the ground. A low-pH solution similar in strength to household vinegar slowly dissolves copper in the bedrock. At the same time this solution is being introduced into the copper ore body, it is also being drawn through the ore and extracted. More solution is pumped out than is pumped in, and the deposit is flushed with water after the copper extraction is complete, so none of the solution is left behind. The water just outside of the project area is continually monitored to ensure proper water quality.  Florence Copper will drill and operate 24 wells at the facility, including four injection wells and nine recovery wells. Four geochemical sampling wells and seven observation wells will also be used to verify that the solution is being recovered and groundwater is unaffected. It will operate for one year, and may be extended for a second year. Operations will include 24-hour site monitoring, sampling, and reporting to the ADEQ and EPA. Commercial operating permits will only be issued if the facility is proved to operate safely.  The Production Test Facility at Florence Copper is designed to prove that in-situ recovery can be done responsibly. Environmental and water quality monitoring will be on-going throughout the operation.

Company NameFlorence Copper Inc.
Business CategoryCoal
Address1575 West Hunt Highway
United States
ZIP: 85132
Year Established2010
Hours of OperationNA
Company Services
  • Copper
  • In-situ Copper Recovery
  • Sx/ew Technology
  • Hydrology
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