ASARCO mine aerial photo Oct. 29, 2009.

CASA GRANDE — The new owners of a long-dormant open pit mine near Casa Grande have set up a hotline to answer any questions or concerns about their plans from area residents.

Elim Mining has signed an agreement to purchase the Sacaton Unit mine from the ASARCO Environmental Custodial Trust.

Elim announced it was in the process of purchasing the mine in late October. The company plans to rename the site Cactus Mine.

“We are thrilled to be joining the people of Pinal County to revitalize this historic site,” said John Antwi, president and CEO of Elim in a press release. “Our company endeavors to focus on three things: economic development, environmental protection and community partnerships.”

“I am very pleased to learn about the recent purchase agreement that will revitalize important property in our county,” said Pinal County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mike Goodman in a press release. “This type of development is just what we need, bringing jobs and many other economic benefits to our residents.”

The company has set up a community hotline to answer questions from the public about the mine. Residents can call 520-858-0600 or send an email to

The mine is located west of Casa Grande and north of Maricopa-Casa Grande Highway.

The primary resource Elim 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.

ASARCO operated the mine between April 1974 and March of 1984, according to Arizona Geological Survey records. In 1985, ASARCO considered turning the pit mine into a landfill. The company dropped the idea in 1987 after strong public opposition to the project.

In 2009, the state of Arizona reached a $20 million settlement with ASARCO to clean up the site.