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The United Verde Copper Co. was established in Jerome in 1889 and became one of the nation’s leading copper producers. Original operations were underground. Open-pit mining was added in 1911. The slag pile is approximately six miles from the historic United Verde Copper Mine in Jerome, Arizona, which produced some of the richest copper ore ever mined in the U.S. Clarkdale housed a smelter operation for the United Verde Mine.
The smelter town had homes for workers, a school, post office, bank, and a clubhouse, and its population varied between 1,000 and 5,000. To deliver ore to the smelter from Jerome, Douglas built the Arizona-Extension Railway, a two-branch short line railroad. The western branch ran between Clemenceau and the eastern portal of the 2.5-mile (4.0 km) Josephine Tunnel, which connected to the UVX Mine. The eastern branch ran between Clemenceau Clarkdale.
The Clemenceau smelter closed in 1937. Most residents then left the area. Smelting activities ceased entirely in 1947, and a metal-bearing slag was left at the Clarkdale site.
The slag reclamation project begins in 2015 and will produce fine aggregate particulate for sand-blasting, and roofing tile, and other processes to reclaim and process minerals.