2 Billion and Counting: Safford, Ariz. Operations Reaches Major Production Milestone
October 23, 2020 - The magic moment happened sometime on September 30, when Safford’s Hydromet team pulled up what could have been just another batch of copper cathode.
Except this batch contained the 2 billionth pound of copper harvested since commencing operations in 2007.
Photos were taken all around to commemorate this milestone in Safford’s history, then the team got back to work on the next billion pounds. Notably, the accomplishment was reached earlier than expected.
“Rising to that capability in such a short period is a testament to our team’s talent and industriousness, and it further demonstrates Safford at its Best!” said Jeff Monteith, General Manager-Safford Operations.
“Despite all that 2020 has thrown at us for most of the year, our employees have amassed an impressive tally of jaw-dropping successes and continue to aim high and work together to achieve success. Well done, and congratulations to the Safford team!”
What’s even more impressive is what the next billion pounds could look like as Safford moves into full production at the Lone Star pit.
“It took about seven years to hit the first billion and about six years for the second billion,” Monteith said. “Our employees are a determined bunch and dramatically have stepped things up with the efficiency improvements made through the agile process, so even during this toughest of years, they’ve stayed ahead of schedule on many things.”
Photo: Members of Safford’s Hydromet team surround a stack of freshly bundled copper cathode on September 30, 2020, the day that the site harvested its 2 billionth pound.