Phelps Dodge mining company prepares for Climax reopeningadmin
LEADVILLE – The mining company Phelps Dodge continues to methodically go about the steps that may well yield renewed operations at the Climax Mine, which is located at an elevation of more than 11,300 feet, halfway between Leadville and Copper Mountain.
The mine has what is believed to the world’s largest stone-based deposit of molybdenum, a mineral used for hardening of steel and other purposes. The mine has operated sporadically since World War II, and in the 1970s employed 3,000 people from the Leadville, Vail, and Summit County areas. It was closed in 1981 after prices of molybdenum plunged, but molybdenum prices in the last several years have surged, and are expected to remain high.
Gordon D. Stinnnett, the senior supervisor, told the Leadville Herald-Democrat that the goal remains to get the mine operating again by the end of 2009.