The Cactus Mine (formerly the Sacaton Mine) is located in Arizona at the convergence of three major geologic zones in western Pinal County, just west of Casa Grande. It was discovered in 1961 by American Smelting and Refining Co. (ASARCO) which mined the site from 1972 to 1984. During its previous operation, the mine extracted 38 million tons, with 400 million pounds of copper, 759,000 ounces of silver, and 27,000 ounces of gold from the West open pit orebody.
In 1982, construction began on the production shaft to a depth of 1,800 ft and a headframe to the southwest of the pit to access the higher-grade ore via underground mining methods; however, development was suspended due to market conditions and in 1984.
In 2009, the site was placed into the care of an environmental trust that was tasked with the care, stabilization, and reclamation of the site. This work was done under the supervision of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
In July 2020, the company now called Arizona Sonoran Copper (ASCU) completed the purchase of the site from the trust, taking custody of the property. As a result, ASCU will be starting its work with a remediated former mine site, with an environmental baseline study completed which has been approved by the ADEQ.
A detailed environmental plan will be drafted up as the company progresses and conducts additional studies on the property.