The Sacaton Mine may be making a comeback.
Elim Mining has purchased the old open pit mine located northwest of Casa Grande and is exploring the possibility of reopening the mine under the new name Cactus Mine, said John Antwi, president, CEO and director of Elim Mining.
“The opportunity to do business in Arizona is a big deal to us,” said Antwi, who has worked in the mining industry for more than 30 years. He said Elim Mining is exploring the mine site in order to determine what equipment and how many employees the company would need to restart the mine.
The main resource the company hopes to get from the mine is copper but it will also be looking for smaller deposits of gold, silver and molybdenum. Molybdenum is used to strengthen steel and other metals.
This would be the start-up company’s first mine, he said, but first mine that Antwi or Elim’s Chief Operating Officer Ian McMullan have worked on. Both men have 30 years of experience in the mining industry.
Once the company has determined its needs, a date to reopen the mine will be set, he said.
The company is hoping to hire the majority of its employees from Casa Grande and Pinal County, McMullan said.
“We want to partner with the community on this,” he said.
The company plans to contact Central Arizona College for help in finding skilled workers once the mine has been reopened.
The company is looking at a variety of techniques and technology to efficiently and safely remove the ore from the ground, Antwi said.
Antwi said the company places a high priority on protecting the environment, and in-situ mining techniques do not fit that priority for the site.
The company is also looking at ways to best conserve and efficiently use water at the mine.
“We understand how critical water is here,” Antwi said.
McMullan said several public open houses will be held over the coming months so the public will know when the company will start the hiring process and when the mine will reopen.