Rosemont mine prospect costs jump 25%


The projected construction cost for Hudbay Mineral’s Rosemont copper prospect has jumped another $300 million to $1.5 billion, according to Hudbay CEO David Garofalo.

The projected cost of the mile-wide, half-mile deep open pit copper mine planned for the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest 30 miles southeast of Tucson has increased $600 million since 2009.

The previous owner of the Rosemont prospect, Vancouver, B.C.-based Augusta Resource Corp., projected the mine would cost $897 million in 2009. Augusta raised the estimate to $1.2 billion in 2012. Hudbay purchased Augusta last summer to acquire rights to Rosemont.

In comments to investment analysts during a Feb. 20 conference call, Garofalo said Hudbay expects to fund Rosemont through cash flow generated from its three Manitoba mines, the Constancia copper project in Peru and existing debt capacity. Continue reading

Posted in Feasibility Study, General, Hudbay | 2 Comments

Hudbay CEO suggests Rosemont permitting is a certainty

Hudbay Mineral’s CEO David Garofalo says the Toronto-based, multinational mining company only makes significant investments in countries where the company is “certain” that all necessary permits will be issued.

Hudbay’s investments include the highly controversial mile-wide, half-mile deep Rosemont open pit copper prospect in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson, Arizona.

“We focus on investment grade countries in the Americas,” Garofalo said in an interview with the Commodities Dig. “(There is) really only five countries where we would put meaningful capital to work in because we want the certainty of permitting, and we want the certainty of getting our capital back out and getting that return on investment.”

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Posted in Clean Water Act, General, Hudbay | 5 Comments

Police raid Rosemont contractor over Mount Polley dam failure

Search warrants have been served on two engineering companies linked to the Mount Polley tailings dam collapse including AMEC Foster Wheeler, the lead designer of the proposed Rosemont copper mine’s massive dry stack tailings dump.

AMEC said Thursday its Prince George, British Columbia office had been served a search warrant in conjunction with the Mount Polley investigation, the Vancouver Sun reports. “We are co-operating fully with the regulatory authorities,” AMEC spokeswoman Lauren Gallagher said in a written statement.

The investigation by the B.C. Conservation Officers Service, Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the RCMP is focused on offences related to B.C.’s environmental management act and the federal Fisheries Act, the Sun reports. The investigation could result in charges and fines.

Another search warrant was served on BGC Engineering, a Vancouver firm that was preparing to assume oversight of the Mount Polley tailings dam from AMEC last summer but the dam collapsed prior to the handover. Continue reading

Posted in Catastrophic Failure, General | 4 Comments

Canadian police raid company that owns failed tailings dam designed by Rosemont contractors

Canadian police on Tuesday raided the offices of Imperial Metals to gather information in connection with the Mount Polley tailings dam collapse, four days after a government-sponsored report concluded a design problem was the root cause of the dam failure.

The Mount Polley tailings dam was designed in the early 1990s by the multinational engineering firm Knight Piésold. The company turned over responsibility for the dam to AMEC in 2011. Both companies are playing a central role in the design of the dry stack tailings dump at the proposed Rosemont copper mine southeast of Tucson.

The search warrant was executed as part of a joint investigation by Environment Canada, its enforcement branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the RCMP, B.C. Conservation Office inspector Chris Doyle told the Vancouver Sun.

Imperial Metals confirmed late Tuesday a search warrant was executed on its offices in downtown Vancouver and at the Mount Polley mine site near Likely in the B.C. Interior, 100 kilometres northeast of Williams Lake, the Vancouver Sun reported. Continue reading

Posted in Catastrophic Failure, General | 3 Comments

Rosemont subcontractor cited for design failures at Mount Polley dam collapse

Knight Piésold, Ltd., the engineering firm that designed the Mount Polley mine tailings dam that collapsed last August in British Columbia, failed to properly analyze the strength of the dam’s foundation when it designed the tailings facility, a provincial-sponsored report released Friday concludes.

Knight Piésold also did important testing as a subcontractor on the much touted dry stack tailings facility for the proposed Rosemont mine in southern Arizona.

The Independent Expert Engineering Investigation and Review Panel Report on the Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility Breach “concluded that the dominant contribution to the failure resides in the design,” according to a media briefing.

Knight Piésold’s design did not account for the presence of a glacial lake deposit beneath the tailings dam foundation, the Vancouver Sun reported.

Knight Piésold has not responded to numerous calls from the media seeking comment, nor has the company posted anything on its website as of Tuesday. The company issued a statement four days after the Aug. 4 collapse of the Mount Polley dam stating that it had turned over all responsibility for the dam in 2011 to AMEC Earth and Environmental. Continue reading

Posted in Catastrophic Failure, General, water | 6 Comments