Mammoth, in the broad San Pedro River Valley, is in

southeastern Pinal County. The town is approximately 140 miles

southeast of Phoenix and 40 miles northeast of Tucson at an elevation

of 2,353 feet. Two other communities, Oracle and San Manuel,

are located within a 10-mile radius of Mammoth and make up the

tri-community area.

 

In 1883, the first mine in the Mammoth district was located by Frank

Schultz. It was not possible to work the ores at the mine site, so a

stamp mill for this purpose was built on the San Pedro River. The

place was called Mammoth. In 1895, the Mammoth Mine changed

hands, and work stopped while a new system of milling was introduced.

This was the beginning of the last gold mining revival in

Arizona, except for a brief period during the Depression when individuals

mined for gold. Mammoth enjoyed renewed importance in

1936 when molybdenum production began. The post office in

Mammoth was established in 1887, and the town incorporated in

1958.

 

Metal production is the most significant economic activity in Pinal

County and is a major influence in Mammoth. Magma Copper

Company operates an underground copper mine, concentrator,

smelter, refinery and rod manufacturing plant at San Manuel, six

miles south. The refinery, the largest such facility in Arizona, was

completed in 1971 and has an annual capacity of 300,000 tons. The

smelter processes 1,200,000 tons of copper concentrates per year,

25% of the entire U.S. copper smelting capacity. Much of the production

is continuous cast copper re-draw rod, while the remainder is

in the form of cathode copper. An important by-product is sulfuric

acid, which is produced at a rate of approximately 3,000 tons per

day. These facilities, in addition to the administrative offices, employ

3,500 persons. Several smaller mines and quarries and approximately

12 working cattle ranches are located in the area and provide additional

employment and income to Mammoth.

 

The community of Mammoth enjoys a mountainous setting near

the many scenic attractions of the Sonoran Desert of Southern

Arizona. One of the more popular areas is Mount Lemmon in the

Coronado National Forest just south of Mammoth. The spectacular

Galiuro and Catalina Mountains and rolling desert have attracted

various TV and movie companies to film on location in the

Mammoth area. In September, Mammoth celebrates Mexico's

Independence Day with a traditional fiesta and in October, there is

a chili/salsa cook-off.

 

 

Scenic drives in the area include Pinal Pioneer Parkway, which

extends northwest to Florence, traversing a unique natural garden.

Virtually all kinds of desert flora are displayed along the main route

and easily accessible side roads. Mining and ranching activities in

the area also provide diversions for visitors. The region is a classic

example of the range-and-basin ecological system and is noted for

its geological features.