The Project

In-situ Copper Recovery

Copper is called the "green" metal. It is 100% recyclable. It’s a renewable, sustainable resource. Copper is essential to our modern lifestyles – it’s the primary conduit of electricity to homes and an essential element in electric cars, computers, cell phones, wind turbines and more. At Florence, the deposit contains 2.4 billion pounds of copper within 340 million tons of probable reserves.

Florence Copper Inc. proposes to build and operate an in-situ copper recovery (ISCR) facility in Florence, Arizona. This process occurs from 400 to 1,200 feet below ground in a bedrock layer beneath the lower aquifer unit where drinking water supplies are withdrawn. The in-situ process uses a mild mixture of 99.5% water and 0.5% sulfuric acid that slowly dissolves copper in the bedrock. This diluted solution, which is the same acidic strength as common household vinegar, is pumped under low pressure through injection wells to dissolve the copper within the copper oxide zone. Copper-rich solution is pumped to the surface through recovery wells for processing into pure copper cathode sheets.


The Production Test Facility (PTF)

Construction of the $25 million Phase 1 Production Test Facility (PTF) is well underway.

The PTF is a small-scale test facility with 24 wells including four injection wells, nine recovery wells, and 15 groundwater monitoring-related wells. This pilot test will demonstrate to local residents and regulatory agencies such as EPA and ADEQ that in-situ copper recovery (ISCR) is a safe and proved process. During the PTF period, Florence Copper will also demonstrate and enhance the best water management practices employed at the site to maximize efficient water and use and optimize new water treatment technologies.

Interestingly, this won't be the first ISCR facility on this property. EPA and ADEQ approved a similar test project that operated successfully in the late 1990's. Florence Copper's PTF will further test and refine the in-situ method of extracting copper underground and demonstrate to regulators and the community that this process can be done responsibly and effectively while protecting water quality at all times.

Upon successful operation of the PTF, the next step is full commercial production, which is expected to last 25 years. Over the full commercial life of the Florence Copper project, it is projected to start up at an annual production rate of 55 million pounds of copper and then reach an average of 85 million pounds annually until the 20th year. The remaining five years will be dedicated to clean closure of the facility in full compliance with applicable federal and state laws.

Florence Copper's PTF will have 24 wells and operate for 1-2 years.

Florence Copper's PTF has 24 wells and will operate for 1-2 years.