Did you know that the University of Arizona has a mine? It’s called the UA San Xavier Mining Laboratory and it is located in Sahuarita. In November I went to the San Xavier mine to learn more about Arizona mining.

I interviewed James Werner who is the Assistant Director of the mine. His father also worked at the mine. It is not a working mine, but UofA students study there to learn new things about mining.

The mining students learn to mine silver, lead  and copper. Werner and the students usually arrive to the mine early in the morning, but there is no set schedule.

The mine tunnels can hold 10,000 tons of weight or 100,000 pounds of pressure before they collapse. Werner said he can go from 0–333 feet into the mine. He said that 0–240 feet down is safer than 240–330 feet down. The mine offers free tours. Call (520) 621-6063 for more information.

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Sarah McKeown