Earth Science Trip to Sierrita Mine

As an introduction to their upcoming unit on mining and mining issues, students in the Earth Science class toured the massive open-pit Sierrita copper mine near Sahuarita. It was an incredible way to experience the scale of modern mineral extraction firsthand, and to make what the students had been learning in the classroom come alive. The students were quite impressed with the overall process of mining copper, but less so with the smell of pine oil used in the processing plant to attract the copper out of the ore…