Copper at the Crossroads
The state of Arizona has been a leading copper producer for more than a century.
But the metals market is volatile, so a lot of cyclical fortune and failure and boom and bust mark those years.
Copper at the Crossroads examines the past, present, and future of Arizona’s copper mining industry.
The series aired in 2011 on Tucson NPR station KUAZ-FM.
Executive Producer/Reporter: Mark Duggan
Photo: The Hayden Smelter in Hayden, Arizona looms over a city park playground in a photo from 2011. Credit: Mark Duggan
Copper: The miracle metal
Copper mining in Arizona is a tale of both fortune and failure. A look at the past, present and future of an industry at the crossroads.
“I’m not a miner, I’m a provider”
Onofre Tafoya spent 40 years moving the earth in an underground copper mine near Tucson. But it was more than hard work. It was the place where, as he says, he “became a man.”
Some thrived, some died
Tracking the history of Arizona’s boom and bust towns. Bisbee and Globe survived, Helvetia and Ruby didn’t.