Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Will Arizona lose both mineral museums?

Previous posts on this blog documented the plight of the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum. The states other mineral museum (University of Arizona Mineral Museum at Flandreau Science Center) is also in trouble.

The UA Mineral Museum can trace it roots back to at least 1892. Mineralogy was one of the original subjects taught at the university. For over a hundred years, it has served as an educational tool for mining engineering and geology. It also serves K -12 students on field trips, and has undoubtedly sparked the careers of many scientists and engineers.

In 2009, faced with budget cuts in a failed economy, the university cut off funding for the museum. It was saved, at least temporarily, by Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold, Inc.

Freeport provided a $250,000 grant to at least keep the museum open several days a week. Ironically, Freeport had provided a one million dollar endowment to support he mineral museum just the year before the university decided to close it.

Curiously, while attempting to save one mineral museum, Freeport may at the same time be killing another. Rumors persist about Freeport providing a one million dollar grant for the 5CArizona Centennial Museum. As reported in prior posts on this blog, that new history museum will displace the top rated Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum.

Freeports apparently contradictory actions continue to bewilder mineral museum supporters.


$1,000,000 donated to UA mineral museum, Renee Schafer Horton, Tucson citizen, February 14, 2008

Flandrau center’s doors aren’t completely closed, Aaron Mackey, Arizona Daily Star, July 21, 2008

Mineral Museum continues to be open to the Public, Sam Kane, UA News, June 29, 2009

UA Mineral Museum saved – for now,, July 1, 2009

Freeports $1 million donation to UA Mineral Museum,, March 14, 2008

Major contribution to Centennial Museum reported,, August 4, 2010


  1. Check your spelling on the Flandrau

  2. If you want to take a real shot at Woosley then push the Board of Directors of the AHS about the failed Rio Nuevo spending of 1.4 million for AHS plans for nothing and this failed Centennial Museum that so far nobody has donated money too. What industries have so far??? Only about 430 days left to go until the Centennial. Not a lot of time to build a museum and exhibit.
    Thats TWO major embarassing things that Woosley has fronted for. The only people who can fire her is the board.

  3. Woosley is not the target of this blog. The Governor is. The sole purpose of this blog is the repeal of HB2251 to protect the mineral collection.

  4. You keep saying that. Look Mineral Guy Woosley is just as guilty. If you take her down a notch for her arrogance then Brewer has no "museum" to build her party house. Who else will she go to this late in the game.You have to shoot at both targets.I would also let the donors from the 5 "C"s that they will be embarrased if they donate. Brewer and Woosley sat together and cooked this up. Its more than the rocks and minerals. Its the museum volunteers, the museum, your past and future there. They can write another law later. They cooked the newest one up pretty fast they can do another one later. You have nothing to loose. The Rio Nuevo Audit is out, the timeline is impossible to finish the Centennial Abortion. You have the upper hand.

  5. The 5C gang is back to working in secrecy, so the only information we have is rumors. Apparently, 4 of the 5 potential donors realized it was a stupid idea and bailed out. Freeport is apparently still talking to them. The anomaly of a mining company possibly contributing to the decimation of the mineral museum remains unexplained.

  6. Good because Freeport was only going to give $900.000 to $1,000.000. With an out of state exhibits contractor from New York they could not do any kind of job. Those guys would cost far too much. If four of the five potential donors are bailing then you have done a good job. Your museum may be saved after all. Keep fighting!! Dont give up.

  7. Rio Nuevo Audit will be out in a few days. 1.4 million that AHS spent on exhibit plans for a non exixtant museum. Sound familiar. Looks like they will do it again.