Wayne Bud Walker, 1989. "Geology of the Sweetwater Mine, Viburnum Trend Southeast Missouri", Mississippi Valley-Type Mineralization of the Viburnum Trend, Missouri, Richard D. Hagni, Raymond M. Coveney, Jr.
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The Asarco Sweetwater Unit, consisting of an underground lead/zinc mine and mill, is the southernmost mine of the Viburnum Trend. lt is located 7.5 miles southeast of Bunker and 13 miles northwest of Ellington, Mo. (Fig. 1).
Formerly owned and operated by Ozark Lead Company, a division of Kennecott Corporation, the orebody was discovered in January, 1962. Mine production began in June,1968 and continued for over 15 years until ozark Lead halted production in 1983 due to declining lead prices. In late 1986, Kennecott sold the Ozark mine to ASARCO, Inc. Asarco restarted operations at sweetwater in December, 1987. Current production is at a rate of 3,400 tons of ore a day. At full production, the mine is rated as having the capability of producing 5,000 tons per day of ore grading 4.8% lead and 0.6% zinc.