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Lavender Pit, Bisbee

4.0
#6 of 19 in Things to do in Bisbee
The Lavender Pit is a former open pit copper mine near Bisbee in Cochise County, Arizona, United States. It is located near the famous Copper Queen Mine. The Lavender Pit was named in honor of Harrison M. Lavender (1890–1952), who as Vice-President and General Manager of Phelps Dodge Corporation, conceived and carried out this plan for making the previously unprofitable low-grade copper bearing rock of the area into commercial copper ore.Phelps Dodge Corporation opened the Lavender Pit in 1950, at the site of the earlier, higher-grade Sacramento Hill mine. Production through 1974 totaled 86 million tons of ore averaging about 0.7% copper, or about 600,000 tons of copper produced, with gold and silver as byproducts. About 256 million tons of waste were stripped, but a portion of this was acid-leached for additional copper. Turquoise was also a by-product of this mining activity. Bisbee turquoise, also known as Bisbee Blue, is amongst the finest turquoise found anywhere in the world. Mining operations in the pit ended in 1974. The undeveloped Cochise deposit, located immediately north of the Lavender pit, contains an estimated 190 million tons of rock containing 0.4% acid-soluble copper, which may be mined in the future.Because of the competent host rock, this pit has much steeper sides than other open pit copper mines in the southwest area. The pit covers an area of 300 acres (1.2 km²), and is 900 feet (274 m) deep. Large tonnages of dump rock are placed around Bisbee, notably north of the residential district of Warren and other parts of the southeastern Mule Mountains area.
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Lavender Pit Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
184 reviews
Google
4.3
TripAdvisor
  • The colors of the earth here are remarkable. We only got here because the directions on google map were incorrect for a restaurant that we were trying to find. If you're near Bisbee, go check it out.  more »
  • Great collection of Bonsai with many different species and quite a few that are hundres of years old. Its just off Interstate 5 at exit 143  more »
  • The Lavender Pit is not accessible to the public. Really it's just a highway viewpoint looking down on the decommissioned mine. It won't take more than five minutes. Nonetheless, it is well worth a st...  more »
Google
  • Just a big colorful hole in the ground. Nice if there is any water at the bottom. Quick stop for scenic view and photo opportunity. Plenty of parking. The fence has holes for better pictures
  • Great piece of southern Arizona mining history. Very little like it for miles. If you are this far south, I suggest adding Bisbee and the pit to your trip.
  • very interesting spot gave history of the mine and why it was built this way,also purple heart memorial, lots of room to park,easy in and out
  • A couple zip lines in the Pit would be something to consider..it would compliment the way cool Mine tour
  • Great view of the open pits at Bisbee. Note it is named lavender after a man, not because of the color of the rocks, though lots of colorful rocks and minerals have come from this area.
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