SEC files illegal insider trading charges against former Hudbay executive in connection with Rosemont mine purchase

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday filed illegal insider trading charges against a former Hudbay Minerals Inc. senior executive based in Peru in connection with Hudbay’s 2014 acquisition of Augusta Resource Corp. and its Arizona-based Rosemont Copper Company subsidiary.

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Nino Coppero

“The SEC alleges that Nino Coppero del Valle…tipped his close friend and fellow attorney Julio Antonio Castro Roca with material nonpublic information about a tender offer his company submitted to acquire the shares of (Vancouver, B.C.)-based Augusta,” a Sept. 28 SEC press release states.

Hudbay initiated a hostile takeover of Augusta in February 2014 and eventually acquired Augusta in July 2014. Hudbay is now seeking state and federal permits to construct the Rosemont copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson.

Coppero was Hudbay’s director of corporate affairs and social responsibility for Hudbay’s Peruvian operations between March 2011 and September 2014, according to Coppero’s Linkedin profile. Continue reading

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Shots fired into home of Guatemalan activist suing Hudbay

Gunshots were fired last week into the home of Guatemalan human rights leader Angelica Choc, who is a plaintiff in a high-profile wrongful death civil lawsuit filed against Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. in connection with the 2009 murder of her husband.

Hudbay is seeking state and federal permits to construct the proposed Rosemont open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest 35 miles southeast of Tucson.

Rights Action, a Canadian human rights organization, is reporting that the gunfire occurred just after midnight on Friday, Sept. 16 while Ms. Choc was sleeping in her El Estor, Guatemala home with her two children.

Ms. Choc is the widow of Adolfo Ich, a teacher and community leader murdered Sept. 27, 2009.  Hudbay Minerals’ then head of security, Mynor Padilla, has been charged with the killing and his criminal trial is ongoing in Guatemala. Padilla is a former colonel in the Guatemalan military. Continue reading

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Forest Service excluded EPA and Arizona tribe from review of draft report on Rosemont’s impacts on endangered species

An Arizona Indian tribe and the U.S. Environmental Protection agency were excluded from making comments on a draft federal report on the impact of the proposed Rosemont mine on a dozen threatened and endangered species, the Arizona Daily Star reported on Aug. 7.

The Forest Service, according to the Daily Star, said it declined to release the draft to the tribe, the EPA and “other agencies and parties” that had asked for it, in part because officials felt parts of the draft would need to change.

The newspaper also reported the Forest Service said it didn’t want other parties commenting on the draft biological opinion because that would have taken significant extra time when completion of the report was on a tight legal deadline.

The Tohono O’odham Nation sent a letter to Coronado National Forest (CNF) protesting that the agency rejected the Nation’s request in March to review a draft biological opinion on the mine’s expected impact on imperiled species. Continue reading

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Hudbay posts sixth consecutive loss and plans to further reduce Rosemont spending

Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. posted its sixth consecutive quarterly loss during the 2nd quarter ending June 30 and plans to “substantially” reduce spending on its Arizona Rosemont copper project during the rest of 2016.

Hudbay’s 2nd quarter loss of $5.7 million brings its total losses since the beginning of 2015 to $353 million, according to its 2nd quarter Management Discussion & Analysis report.

“Net loss and loss per share in the second quarter of 2016 was affected by, among other things, non-cash deferred tax adjustments of $8.4 million or negative $0.04 per share,” the company stated in a press release.

The string of losses has occurred even as Hudbay greatly increased revenue and total mineral production with the 2015 completion of construction and beginning of operations at its 80,000 ton-per-day Constancia open-pit copper mine in Peru.

“Notwithstanding lower copper and zinc realized prices, revenues nearly doubled and gross profit increased more than ten-fold compared to the same quarter last year as a result of higher sales volumes and cost optimization at our operations,” the MDA report states. Continue reading

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Federal agency recommends denial of crucial Clean Water Act permit needed for Hudbay’s proposed Rosemont mine

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles district office is recommending denial of a crucial Clean Water Act permit requested by Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. needed to build its proposed Rosemont open-pit copper mine in southeastern Arizona.

The Corps’ L.A. district commander sent the recommendation last week to the agency’s San Francisco regional office, which will make the final decision, the Arizona Daily Star reported on Thursday.

A decision by the Corps regional office — which can be appealed — could be six months off due to its complexity, a Corps spokeswoman told the Daily Star.

Hudbay told the Daily Star that sending the permit decision up for a more senior level review within the Army Corps has always been a potential path of action under the agency’s procedures.

Continue reading

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