Santa Rita Mine

A large open pit copper mine in Santa Rita, in southwestern New Mexico, connected to a smelter seven miles south in Hurley. Together these facilities employ about 1,200 people, when operating. The Santa Rita Mine, also known as the Chino Mine, is one of the oldest continuously operating mine in the West. It has been operated by the Chino Mines Company, Phelps Dodge, and Kennecott, and is now Operated by FCX, a subsidiary of Freeport McMoRan, based in Phoenix. A natural landform called the Kneeling Nun, a hillside said to resemble a kneeling nun in profile, looms above the open pit. The town of Santa Rita was moved to make way for the mine. There is another major copper pit nearby, in Tyrone, also operated by FCX.