Multimedia exhibit now on display at Boyce Thompson

Superior Mayor Mila Besich-Lira (center) cuts the ribbon on a multimedia presentation of the history of Magma Mine on display at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Photo by Sherri Davis.

Resolution Copper and Boyce Thompson Arboretum joined together last Monday, Nov. 19 to unveil the six-month multimedia exhibit of Magma Copper Mine “Honoring our Past, Planning for our Future.”

This exhibit, located at the BTA, has black and white photos of Magma Copper Mine that capture the heart of the mine, starting with its early beginnings in the 1920s and progressing through the 1940s, when Magma Copper was at its height of production.

Several people were present for this special unveiling, including Acting Director of Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Gaylyn Yanke, Resolution Copper Project Director Andrew Lye, Superior Mayor Mila Besich and Westland Resources, which was instrumental in the research required to put the exhibit together.

Lira, who worked for Magma Mining Company for 47 years, shared special memories of his time working at the concentrator.

“I saw a lot of events and changes throughout the years” Lira said, as he looked back at the technology changes that occurred and improved production, as well as the strikes of 1959 and 1960.

He was also there during an 8-year shutdown from 1982-1990 and again in 1996. However, with Resolution Copper now at the helm, this is the start of a new beginning. “It looks like we’re going to have a mine here again,” Lira said.

Resolution Copper, once in full production, is expected to generate billions in economic benefits to Arizona over its lifetime.

Inside the exhibit are historical images, documentation and history of the Magma smelter, along with video coverage of interviews with people who once worked at the mine.

The exhibit is a “glimpse of the past, inspired by what is to come” Mila Besich-Lira said.

Following the ribbon cutting, Westland Resources gave 20-minute guided tours throughout the exhibit.

To learn more, go to or call 602-827-3000. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is located at 37615 E. Highway 60, just west of Superior.


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