Augusta Resource Corporation shareholders this morning voted to continue a poison pill plan adopted by the Augusta board of directors last year in anticipation of a hostile takeover bid from HudBay Mineral Resources.
It’s uncertain, however, how long the plan will remain in effect.
The British Columbia Securities Commission will hold a hearing later today to determine whether to grant HudBay’s request to revoke Augusta’s poison pill.
There was no discussion during the 25-minute annual meeting about the upcoming BCSC hearing and the potential impact on Augusta if the commission votes to revoke the poison pill.
Augusta CEO Gil Clausen told about 50 people attending the annual meeting in a meeting room at the Pan Pacific Hotel overlooking Vancouver’s waterfront that Augusta expects to obtain regulatory approvals by June 30.
There were no questions from those attending the meeting concerning recent permitting delays for Augusta’s proposed Rosemont Copper project.
The U.S. Forest Service announced yesterday that it has no definite date when it will complete an administrative review of hundreds of objections to the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the mine. The review must be completed before a Final Record of Decision can be issued.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has also informed Augusta that its mitigation plan to compensate for destruction of wetlands, springs and streams falls short of regulatory standards. Augusta must obtain a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit from the Army Corps before construction on the mine can begin.
Augusta’s board adopted the poison pill last year in anticipation HudBay would attempt to acquire the company to take control of its Rosemont Copper Company subsidiary.
HudBay announced Feb. 9 its intention to acquire all of Augusta’s outstanding shares that it already didn’t own. HudBay has stated that it will not extend its $500 million takeover offer beyond May 5 unless Augusta withdraws the poison pill.
HudBay is Augusta’s largest shareholder with 23 million shares equal to about 16 percent of the company’s 145 million shares outstanding.
Rosemont Copper is seeking state and federal permits and an approval from the U.S. Forest Service to construction the Rosemont open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson.