The Challenge

Environmental hazards, structural instability, and other safety concerns meant that the remaining components of the smelter complex could not be preserved. WestLand’s task was to record each building and structure in detail, taking photographs and preparing measured drawings, all to the standards of the Historic American Buildings Survey and the Historic American Engineering Record.

The Solution

WestLand’s work also included aerial drone still and video photography of the complex and the preparation of three-dimensional models of selected smelter buildings. Because some parts of the smelter complex were too hazardous to access directly, WestLand used the drone to take photographs of features that otherwise would have been left unexamined.

The project also included archival research and oral-history interviews with individuals who once worked at the smelter or lived in Superior when it was still in operation.

The Result

WestLand prepared a report on all aspects of the architectural documentation project, including the archival research and the oral-history interviews. In addition the project resulted in the publication of a public education brochure and a multi-media installation at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

Project Gallery ....

About Resolution Copper

Online Exhibit: Remembering the SmelterOpen Exhibit

About Resolution Copper Corporation

Founded in 2002. The company's line of business includes the mining, milling, and preparing of copper ores.

The mine will generate sustainable benefits for Arizona, creating several thousand direct and indirect jobs located in Arizona’s Pioneer Mining District, with an economic value of several billion dollars over the estimated life of the mine. The project team is working with policy makers, regulators, businesses, leaders, Native American tribes, environmental advocates and the local community to develop the project safely and in a way that protects the area’s unique environment and cultural heritage.

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The Project

In 2018, Resolution Copper hired WestLand Resources to document the remaining buildings and structures of the early 20th century Magma smelter complex as part of a larger effort to preserve its history.

At A Glance

Project Magma Copper Smelter Documentation
Client Resolution Copper Company
Sector Cultural Resources Historic Preservation Group
Completed 2018

Project People

Avi Buckles, MA

Director, Cultural Resources

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