Latest News – August 9

MBT Detour Update Re: Parkville Project

Climax Mine Marks Grand Re-Opening

Freeport-McMoRan’s Climax Mine officially marked its Grand Re-Opening yesterday with a Community Celebration which included a tour of the facilities. Nearly 500 attendees were guided through some of Climax’s mining operations and restoration projects. 

Mine Operations Superintendent Roy McKinstry (left) takes members of the media on a tour of the Climax Mine’s open pit mining operations.

On Tuesday, August 7, the media was provided a separate tour, to take pictures and video. This story contains that information, including a tour of the open pit mining operations at the base of Bartlett Mountain, the Channel Restoration in the Headwaters of the Arkansas River (the area above the “Climax Curve” located on Highway 91), the reclamation project on the property north of Highway 91 (i.e. the old tailings ponds), as well as information about the new water treatment facility project currently under construction on Summit County side. 

Hello, Moly! It’s Good to See You Again!

Freeport-McMoRan’s Climax Mine is back in production after a 17-year hiatus. With a new mill and refurbished mining facilities, the first molybdenum concentrate, amounting to approximately 21,000 pounds of molybdenum, was shipped out the gate on May 10, 2012. 

Operations in the open-pit mine began in June 2011.  Since then, Climax has been stockpiling ore and removing overburden. The Climax Mine is now in commercial production. 

Open Pit Operations at The Climax Mine


First mined in 1916, almost 2 billion pounds of molybdenum have been produced from this historic mining operation.  In 2007, Freeport-McMoRan announced plans to restart the Climax Mine, which had most recently been in operation in 1995. In 2008, in response to a sharp decline in molybdenum prices, those plans were placed on hold and construction activities were suspended. Construction restarted in 2010.  The cost of the initial phase of the project approximates $760 million.  Approximately $700 million has been spent to-date. 

Climax Mine’s open pit mining operations at Bartlett Mountain

With a mine life projected to be in excess of 20 years, the Climax Mine is an open pit operation with a current mining rate of about 90,000 tons per day. The new Climax mill has a throughput capacity of 28,000 tons of ore per day.  Molybdenum production is expected to ramp up to a rate of 20 million pounds per year during 2013 and, depending on market conditions, may be increased to 30 million pounds per year.

The new Ball Mill, anticipated to assist in processing 20 million pounds of Molybdenum a year.

Freeport-McMoRan intends to operate the Climax and Henderson molybdenum mines in a flexible manner to meet market requirements. Freeport-McMoRan believes that Climax is one of the most attractive primary molybdenum development projects in the world, with large-scale production capacity, attractive cash costs and future growth options.  

Climax presently employs 300 people. Should the production rate increase to 30 million pounds per year, employment will increase to approximately 400.  

In addition to active mining operations, Climax has also been involved in reclamation work, thereby restoring the natural environment to its former state. 

Reclamation & Water Treatment at the Climax Mine

Channel Restoration at the Arkansas Headwaters

The Climax Mine “Tour Companion”

If you were not able to attend the Climax Mine’s Grand Re-Opening, Leadville Today is providing this electronic copy of the “Tour Companion.” This publication was produced by Freeport McMoRan and provides a detailed history of Climax Mining operations as well as current activity and their vision for the future.

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