Copper Queen Mine
Copper Queen Mine

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The Copper Queen Mine was a copper mine in Cochise County, Arizona, United States. Its development led to the growth of the surrounding town of Bisbee in the 1880s. Its orebody ran 23% copper, an extraordinarily high grade. It was acquired by Phelps Dodge in 1885.

In the early 1900s, this was the most productive copper mine in Arizona. While copper mining declined in the area in the 1930s and 1940s, the Copper Queen continued to be mined by the open-pit process during the years following World War II. With decreasing returns, Phelps Dodge closed it in 1985.

Outfitted in a hard hat, miner’s headlamp and a yellow slicker, thousands of Bisbee visitors ride into the Queen Mine Tour each year—heading underground and back in time. Tour guides, retired Phelps Dodge employees, lead the group 1,500 feet into the mine and recount mining days, techniques, dangers and drama. Adding a personal touch, the miner-turned-tour guides help visitors experience what it was like to work underground.

Tours depart each day, seven days a week, from the Queen Mine Tour Building, located immediately south of Old Bisbee’s business district, off the U.S. 80 interchange.

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