Hudbay completes aquisition of Augusta Resource to take control of Rosemont copper project


Hudbay Minerals announced this week the completion of its $516 million (Canadian) acquisition of Augusta Resource Corporation, triggering a multimillion dollar windfall for Augusta executives and putting Hudbay in control of the controversial Rosemont copper project on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson.

Following Tuesday’s announcement, Augusta Resource was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange, Toronto Stock Exchange and the Frankfort Stock Exchange. Hudbay issued .315 shares of Hudbay stock for each share of Augusta’s 145 million shares of common stock and agreed to issue .17 of a Hudbay warrant for each share of Augusta stock.

Augusta Executive Chairman Richard Warke appears to have earned more than $22 million on the the deal, based on a review of Augusta’s financial reports filed with Canadian securities regulators dating back to 2001. Continue reading

Posted in Hudbay, Investors | 3 Comments

Amnesty International spotlights Hudbay Minerals for alleged human rights abuses in Guatemala

Amnesty International is citing Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ alleged responsibility for a 2009 murder and shootings as examples of human rights abuses by mining companies in Guatemala.

In the report “Guatemala Rights At Risk” released last week in Guatemala City, Amnesty International discusses three separate civil claims in a Canadian court brought by members of the Maya-Q’eqchi community against Hudbay and its former subsidiary, Compañia Guatemalteca de Niquel (CGN).

The AI report states:

“In one case, brought in 2010, the widow of Adolfo Ich Chamán, a school teacher and anti-mining activist, claims that in 2009 security personnel employed by Hudbay’s subsidiary, CGN, shot and killed her husband during a confrontation with Maya-Q’eqchi villagers.

“In a separate claim brought in 2011, German Chub Choc claims he was shot and paralyzed during the same incident.” Continue reading

Posted in Hudbay | 2 Comments

Recent tailings failure in Mexico and Canada “justify expensive and time consuming permitting process”

A leading provider of “news and education on the copper market” is warning investors that because of the recent tailings facility failures in both Mexico and Canada, it is “more important than ever for investors to find evidence that companies are environmentally and socially aware.”

Just last week, a massive tailings dam failed at the Buenavista del Cobre mine in Canenea, Sonora, and dumped 40 million liters of copper sulfate into the Rio Sonora. Mexican authorities are blaming the mine’s owners, Southern Copper Corp., a subsidiary of Grupo México.

The Mexico News Daily reported Friday that Mexico’s environmental agency Profepa is blaming the mine’s operators for massive tailings release that was not immediately reported to authorities.

The News Daily is reporting that Arturo Rodríguez Abitia, assistant prosecutor of industrial inspection at Profepa, said the mine acted in a negligent manner for not having monitored the release of the contents of the tailings pond. He said Profepa will be looking to apply the highest penalty possible, which is about 3 million pesos, or $230,000. Continue reading

Posted in Catastrophic Failure | 2 Comments

Engineering firm currently responsible for failed Canadian tailings dam also designed Rosemont’s tailings dump

The engineering firm that is currently responsible for the design of the failed Mount Polley tailings dam in British Columbia is also the lead engineer for the proposed Rosemont mine’s dry stack tailings dump.

The Vancouver Sun reported earlier this week that AMEC Earth and Environmental took over as lead engineer for the Mount Polley facility in March 2011. AMEC has been the lead engineering firm for Rosemont’s mine tailings waste dump since at least 2007 when the Mine Plan of Operations was submitted to the U.S. Forest Service.

AMEC is one of world’s largest environmental engineering firms with more than 27,000 employees operating in more then 40 countries. reported on August 7 that Knight Piesold, Ltd. was the original designer of the Mount Polley tailings dam and that Knight Piesold has also worked as a subcontractor for AMEC on the Rosemont tailings design. The next day, Knight Piesold issued a statement that it had severed ties with Mount Polley in 2011. Continue reading

Posted in Catastrophic Failure, General | 4 Comments

Hudbay’s Rosemont exploration drilling plan raises questions about mine’s size and environmental damage

Hudbay Minerals Inc. is planning extensive additional exploration drilling at the proposed Rosemont open-pit copper mine that appears to be an effort to expand the amount of known copper reserves that could lead to greater production and extend the life of the mine beyond the now projected 20 years.

Additional production would also greatly increase the amount of waste rock and  mine tailings that would be produced at the mine planned for the northeastern flank of the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson. More than 99 percent of the rock and ore that would be mined will end up as waste rock and tailings.

A deeper pit could also have greater negative impact on the ground water aquifer in the area, particularly on several endangered fish and frogs in Las Cienegas National Conservation Area in the valley immediately east of the mine site.

More waste rock and tailings dumped on more than 3,000 acres of Coronado National Forest could also increase negative impacts on Cienega Creek and Davidson Canyon, which are classified as Arizona Outstanding Waters and legally protected from any degradation. Continue reading

Posted in EIS, General, Hudbay | 5 Comments