Former Asarco employees reunite 20 years after plant’s closure


Several former Asarco co-workers gathered for a reunion this week, two decades years after the plant closed.

The group was also joined by UTEP professors who have studied the environmental impact of the smelting and refinery company.

Many former employees tell KTSM they worked for Asarco for 25 to 30 years before it closed, and witnessed the company transition from manual work to automation.

“It was…very dangerous work we dealt with, a lot of dangerous chemicals and hot molding stuff,” Manuel Castaneda told KTSM, “It was hard work, but it was a good paying job with lots of benefits.”

Asarco operated from 1887 until 1999. Its iconic smoke tower was demolished in 2013.

The employees will hold a special 20th anniversary gathering next month.

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