Crucial Rosemont federal water permit decision expected within weeks


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it will make a permitting decision in the next few weeks on Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc.’s Clean Water Act (CWA) permit for its proposed Rosemont copper project southeast of Tucson, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

Hudbay must obtain the CWA Section 404 permit before construction could begin on the $1.5 billion open-pit copper mine that would be built in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest.

Hudbay has submitted a mitigation plan to the Army Corps to compensate for the destruction of rare desert wetlands from the proposed mine. Hudbay’s plan”would protect four parcels of more than 4,800 acres at a $48 million cost,” the Daily Star reports.

Neither the Corps nor the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has veto power over Corps 404 permits and has been sharply critical of earlier mitigation plans, would comment on Hudbay’s mitigation plan, the newspaper states. Continue reading

Posted in Clean Water Act, Hudbay, water | 2 Comments

Documentary critical of Hudbay Minerals begins Canadian tour

According to a press release from Investigative Media, “Flin Flon Flim Flam“, a documentary film critical of Hudbay Minerals’ worldwide operations and plans for the Rosemont mine, will make its Canadian premiere at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Royal Cinema in Toronto.20160520_FFFF-Toronto-v2-copy

The Toronto screening opens a 13-city tour across Canada including Montreal on May 25, Ottawa on May 26 and concluding in Victoria, B.C. on July 15.

“Hudbay has a long history of tightly controlling information released to the media and the public under Canada’s right to reputation law,” Arizona investigative journalist and filmmaker John Dougherty said in the release.

“This film produced in the United States provides a rare glimpse into the operations of one of Canada’s oldest mining companies without the threat of a defamation lawsuit that has been used by Canadian mining companies to stop publication of critical information in Canada,” he says. Continue reading

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Hudbay reduces spending on Rosemont as permitting decision looms

Hudbay Minerals Inc. said it will sharply reduce spending on its proposed Rosemont copper mine for the remainder of 2016.

“Capital expenditures in Arizona on the Rosemont project are expected to decline substantially over the balance of 2016,” the company stated in its Management Discussion & Analysis report for the 1st Quarter.

The reduced spending comes at the same time as major permitting decisions are looming including the crucial U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision on whether to issue a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit for the mine.

In an unusual action since acquiring the Rosemont project in July 2014, Hudbay did not mention Rosemont in a press release announcing the company’s release of its quarterly financial results.

The Toronto-based company reports spending $11.5 million in the 1st Quarter on the Rosemont prospect in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest 30 miles southeast of Tucson. Continue reading

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Canadian lawmaker seeks increased scrutiny on mining industry in wake of NY Times story on Hudbay Minerals

Spurred by Sunday’s front-page New York Times story on Hudbay Minerals’ alleged human rights abuses in Guatemala, the entire Canadian mining industry is coming under increased scrutiny by Canadian lawmakers.

Liberal MP (Member of Parliament) John McKay is calling for stricter oversight of Canadian mining companies abroad as plaintiffs increasingly look to Canadian courts to seek justice, according to an April 5 story in the Toronto Globe and Mail.

“These unwelcome instances keep on coming up,” McKay said in an interview after the Times story shone a harsh spotlight on Hudbay accused of serious crimes in Guatemala, the Globe and Mail reported.

“And not only does the mining company suffer brand problems, so also does the industry suffer brand problems, and so also does our nation suffer brand problems …. It has been and continues to be a bit of a black eye on our country,” the Toronto newspaper quoted McKay as saying. Continue reading

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Hudbay’s debt, low copper prices puts Rosemont on back burner

Hudbay Minerals’ decision to delay construction of the $1.5 billion Rosemont copper project underscores the increasingly perilous financial outlook for the Toronto-based company that is mired in debt during a period of low copper prices that are expected to continue for several years, if not much longer.

Under the direction of former CEO David Garofalo, Hudbay embarked on a five-year plan to open two new mines in Manitoba and the Constancia mine in Peru, by far its largest operation. (Garofalo resigned in December and is expected to become CEO of Goldcorp in April.)

Hudbay borrowed more than $1.2 billion to finance construction of the three mines. The company was banking on the demand for copper to remain strong and prices to remain high.

But instead, demand dropped and copper prices declined from $4.50 a pound in early 2011 to about $2.10 per pound today. The collapse in copper prices forced Hudbay to repeatedly borrow more money.

Hudbay 's former CEO David Garofalo

Hudbay ‘s former CEO David Garofalo

Hudbay increased its credit lines by $200 million just in 2015 and is now seeking a $550 million credit line. Hudbay paid $109 million in interest last year, according to its 2015 Financial statement.

Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Hudbay’s long-term debt on Monday and issued a “negative” rating outlook.

Continue reading

Posted in General, Hudbay, Investors | 3 Comments