GEM Environmental was able to provide an active learning field trip for Yavapai College Geology students at the Freeport-McMoRan copper mine in Bagdad, Arizona.

November 2, 2019

GEM Environmental, a local nonprofit, allows the classroom to come alive and ultimately transform that experience into a future career. “Companies like Freeport-McMoRan give youth the opportunity to meet with STEM industry professionals”, said Marlena Willoughby with GEM Environmental

“Learning about modern mining techniques was great. One tends to think about miners going underground with a pick and shovel and this experience allowed me to relate mining with high technology just like anything else in modern times.” Adriana Arizmendi, geology student at Yavapai College. Students from two geology class, were given the opportunity to be introduced to the processes involved in copper mining. “Was very enjoyable and informational. I had a blast.” Marco Ayala, geology student at Yavapai College.

They also were able to meet the industry professionals who make it all happen.

“Thank you to GEM Environmental and Freeport McMoran for making this very informative field trip possible. Words in a classroom cannot do justice to the reality of scale, sophistication and potential employment opportunities provided by a trip to a world-scale copper mine such as this.” -Dr. Beth Boyd, geology professor at Yavapai College.

Bagdad is an open-pit copper and molybdenum mining complex that hides in the beautiful hills of Bagdad, AZ. The Bagdad operation consists of a 75,000 metric ton-per-day concentrator that produces copper and molybdenum concentrate, an SX/EW plant that can produce up to 32 million pounds per year of copper cathode from solution generated by low-grade stockpile leaching, and a pressure-leach plant to process molybdenum concentrate. This massive production helps Freeport McMoRan remain a leading international mining company, providing many STEM related jobs.

This field experience is just one of the many initiatives run by GEM Environmental. For more information contact us at

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