(This page printed from UtahRails.net, Copyright 2000-2018 Don Strack)


Index For This Page

This page was last updated on January 8, 2015.

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Early Smelters -- General information about the early metal smelters in Utah.

Garfield Smelters -- Information about the smelters at Garfield, including the ASARCO (later Kennecott) smelter.

International Smelter (Tooele) -- Information about the smelters at International, near Tooele.

Murray Smelters -- Information about the smelters located in Murray, including the ASARCO smelter.

Midvale Smelters -- Information about the smelters located in Midvale, including the U.S. smelter.

Sandy Smelters -- Information about the smelters located in Sandy.

Utah Ore Sampling Co. -- Information about the Utah Ore Sampling Company, including the plant in Murray.

End of Lead Smelting -- Information about the end of lead, zinc, and silver smelting in Utah.

Smoke Farming

Additional information about the Salt Lake valley smelter smoke case can be found in Michael Church's excellent article "Smoke Farming: Smelting and Agricultural Reform in Utah, 1900-1945" in Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, Number 3, Summer 2004)

(Download as a PDF; link may become obsolete)

General Information

The following comes from David Wegg's 1915 thesis "Bingham Mining District, Utah" [Wegg, David Spencer, Jr. "Bingham Mining District, Utah." MS Thesis. Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah, 1915]

Smelters operating in 1913 included the American Smelting and Refining plants at Garfield and Murray, the International plant at Tooele, and the United States Smelting and Refining plant at Midvale.

Equipment in 1913 at the American Smelting and Refining copper smelter at Garfield (owned by Garfield Smelting Company, a subsidiary of American Smelters Securities) included: 16 miles of standard gauge track; five 6-ton general Electric locomotives; three 3-ton general Electric locomotives; four other General Electric locomotives; one Browning 15-ton locomotive crane; two bay City 15-ton locomotive cranes; two American 26-ton saddle tank locomotives; and one American 45-ton saddle tank locomotive. (Wegg, p. 114)

Equipment in 1913 at the International smelter in Tooele included four 12-ton electric locomotives. (Wegg, p. 111)

Equipment in 1913 at the United States smelter at Midvale included: four 10-ton electric locomotives used at the lead blast furnace, possibly operating on 6-foot gauge track. (Wegg, p. 109) United States Mining shipped 78,165 tons of lead ore to their Midvale lead smelter during 1913, along with shipping 123,757 tons of copper ore to the other smelters. (Wegg, p. 49)

Although ores from Bingham were the focus of smelters by this time, other metal ores were coming to the smelters from other mining districts, and were mainly used to balance the metallurgy of the smelting process. The Salt Lake and Alta Railroad was completed between Sandy and Wasatch, at the mouth of Little Cottonwood canyon in November 1913, to transport the Alta district ores to the smelters. (Wegg, p. 69)

During 1941, Utah's metal smelters included the following:

Recent Developments

January 2004
The 262-acre former USSR&M site at Midvale, most recently known as the Sharon Steel smelter site, was set to be sold to a developer in February 2004. That developer was planning on building 1600 homes, condominiums and apartments, with possible some office buildings on the site. The Sharon Steel site was noted as being bounded by 7800 South Street on the north and 8400 South Street on the south, and by the Jordan River on the west and Midvale's 700 West Street on the east. The adjacent slag dumping site, located across 7800 South to the north, and extending further north to 6800 South, had been renamed Bingham Junction. The 300-acre Bingham Junction site was set to be developed with a combination of retail, residential, commercial, office, and mixed-use development. (Deseret News, January 31, 2004)


Salt Lake Valley Smelters -- A Google Map showing the locations of many of the railroad-served smelters in the Salt Lake Valley.

More Information

Smelter Locomotives -- (incomplete) Information about the locomotives used at Utah's smelters.