Louis S. Cates

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Louis S. Cates (1881 – 1959) was born in Massachusetts and attended MIT. He led the Phelps Dodge Company from 1930 - 1947. During that time the company acquired the Nichols Copper Company, the Calumet and Arizona Mining Company, and the United Verde Copper Company. Under Cates' leadership Phelps-Dodge became an integrated copper industry operation. During his tenure the capital stock of Phelps-Dodge more than quadrupled in value, despite the Great Depression. Cates died in 1959

At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began his career as superintendent of the Boston Consolidated operation in Utah, where he made a successful copper mine for Samuel Newhouse and his Boston backers. In 1910, Boston Con was acquired by the adjacent Utah Copper Company, the gigantic open pit operation at Bingham, Utah. Utah Copper Company's General Manager Daniel Jackling was impressed with Cates and, after a short stint at Bingham Canyon, transferred Cates to manage the Ray Consolidated copper mining operation at Ray, Arizona (still in operation). Cates introduced the profitable block-caving method at Ray, one of the new porphryr copper mines being opened at a grand scale at the time. His success during the 1910s-20s within the Jackling operations, reorganized under the 1915 formed Kennecott Corporation, proved his worth. Known for his gruff style and limited personal skills, he was a dogged manager whose single-focus made his many operations successful. After 1930, when he took over the presidency of the Phelps Dodge Corporation, he expanded PD mining operations at Bisbee, Jerome, Ajo, and especially the opening of the world-class Clay copper ore body at Morenci, Arizona, still one of the world's largest copper producers. He also re-invented PD as a vertical - integrated - copper producer, from mine pit to finished product. PD would remain a copper leader until acquired by Freeport MacMoran early in the twenty-first century.