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Slag reclamation could net company billions
Written by Mark Lineberger   
Monday, 07 January 2013 00:00

A Nevada-based company is making progress in its efforts to reclaim usable metals from the large slag pile in Clarkdale.

A large pile of slag, left behind when a copper mining operation in Jerome and a Clarkdale smelter operation ended in 1947, covers a 45-acre area in Clarkdale and is estimated to weigh around 20.2 million tons. A Nevada-based company is making progress to reclaim usable metals from the pile, which may still have a half-ounce of gold per ton in it, roughly 315 tons of gold, worth $16.72 billion.A fixture in the area for years, the slag pile was left behind when the rich copper mining operation up the mountain in Jerome ended, and Clarkdale smelter operations ceased in 1947. The giant pile covers a 45-acre area and is estimated to weigh around 20.2 million tons.

Engineers have estimated that within the slag pile, there is still around a half-ounce of gold per ton, along with silver, copper, zinc and a ferro silicate byproduct. The gold alone would be worth $16.72 billion based on the price Saturday, Dec. 29, though the project to extract the precious metals is expected to take years. While the technology to make the metals trapped inside the slag useful wasn’t around decades ago, it has come a long way since then.

For the full story, see the Wednesday, Jan. 2, edition of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.


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