AZCM exhibit receives copper donation from Freeport-McMoRan

Copper became the official state metal July 3

For Immediate Release
July 9, 2015


Matt Roberts, Director of Communications 
Phone: (602) 542-2228
[email protected]



Phoenix – While copper has been associated with Arizona’s economy for years, on July 3, 2015 it became the official state metal. To celebrate this designation and add to the Arizona Capitol Museum collection, Freeport-McMoRan has donated a specimen of native copper mined in Morenci, Arizona. The transfer will take place on July 9 at 11 a.m. in the State Symbols exhibit on the 3rd floor of the Capitol Museum.


“Long has copper mining been a part of Arizona,” said Secretary of State Michele Reagan, whose office oversees the AZCM. “We thank Freeport-McMoRan for its generous support of the AZCM through this copper donation, which we will use as part of our ‘Arizona’s State Symbols’ exhibit viewed by thousands of Arizona’s school children each year as part of their civics education.”

Senate Bill 1441 was signed into law March 27 by Gov. Doug Ducey. The bill was sponsored by State Senator Steve Smith who was approached with the idea by fourth-grade teacher Jennifer Royer. As part of an exercise in her civics class at Copper Creek Elementary School in Tucson, Royer’s students proposed that Arizona should have a state metal and that metal should be copper.

The copper specimen was presented to the Arizona Capitol Museum by Freeport-McMoRan representatives Vice President African Exploration William H. Wilkinson, Ph.D. and Richard Bark, Director of Government Relations and Environmental Counsel. 

William Wilkinson said, “We are proud to be able to participate in this celebration that recognizes copper as an Arizona symbol.  It is particularly fitting that the specimen is from Morenci, a mine that has been so important to the history of this state, and will continue to play a crucial role in Arizona for decades to come.”

The AZCM is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no entry fee to tour the museum and parking is free. For more information, call 602-926-3620. The AZCM is located in the Historic State Capitol, under the copper dome at 1700 W. Washington St. in Phoenix. For more information about our exhibits, or to schedule a tour, visit us online at

About the Arizona Capitol Museum                                                                           

The Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, helps Arizonans know and obtain information about their government, their state and their world. We provide expertise to empower informed decisions. The Arizona Capitol Museum connects people to Arizona government – past and present. Using new technology to increase the interactivity of exhibits, the AZCM has brought the history of Arizona into the 21st Century. Housed in the historic state capitol, entry and parking to the AZCM are free. For more information about our exhibits, or to schedule a tour, visit us online at