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Lavender Pit, Bisbee

(140+ reviews on the web)
Tourist Spot
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Lavender pit is just south of Bisbee on Route 80 with a scenic view pulloff where you can stop to look at what is a really enormous hole.in the ground. One's mind just boggles at how much copper h...  more »
  • Can only see open pit from top rim behind fence. Pretty astonishing what was done to mine copper and what is left to deal with. Worth the visit.  more »
  • A view spot just off the street, well worth stopping at. A very large hole, 4,000' wide, 5,000' long and 850' deep. There is also a Veteran's memorial.  more »
Google
  • Impressive view of one of the three pits (800 ft deep). Information stand explaining the mine's history and providing interesting facts about copper mining in general.
  • This is a great place to visit..scary to look down at the pit but very interesting.
  • An expected find. Very deep pit with a small bit of water at the the bottom. There's plenty of parking and a tall fence for safety purposes. The view is amazing.
  • The viewpoint is located right off the main road that takes you into Bisbee and the Copper Queen mine. The viewing area is fenced off w/chainlink, but you can still manage to get some good views/pics of the massive "pit" that used to be an open pit copper mine. It is both jaw-dropping and depressing at the same time to see this massive hole, but it is worth the quick stop especially if you happen to have binoculars to see some of the cool features up close. Aside from the impressive size, it is kinda neat how the hues of the pit can change depending on the sunlight.
  • Great senic spot. A must hit when you are at Bisbee. The pit is actually 3 different mines combined over the years.