Trump’s election no guarantee Hudbay will obtain federal permits needed to construct the Rosemont copper mine


Donald J. Trump’s election to President doesn’t mean the federal regulations that have so far blocked Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ plans to construct the $1.5 billion Rosemont copper mine will be easily eliminated clearing the way for construction of the controversial open-pit mine, The Arizona Daily Star reported Sunday.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles district office last July recommended  denying issuing Hudbay the crucial Section 404 Clean Water Act permit for the Rosemont project. The Corps’ San Francisco division office is expected to make a final decision in the near future.

If the division office also decides to deny the 404 permit, then the new Trump administration would be faced with a difficult challenge of overturning the decision, according to the Daily Star.

The paper reported:

“If the Trump administration wanted to overturn an unfavorable decision, it would have to reopen a very detailed record and develop additional facts or analysis,” said Tracy Mehan, an assistant Environmental Protection Agency administrator under President George W. Bush and now head of government affairs for the nonprofit American Water Works Association.

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Hudbay pays Peruvian National Police to provide security for its Constancia mine

Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. has a contract with the Peruvian National Police to provide security services at its Constancia mine in Peru, according to records obtained by a Peruvian human rights group.

Ruth Iberra Luque, a representative of the organization Derechos Humanos Sin Fronteras (Human Rights Without Borders), released records she obtained through a 2014 public records request showing that at least 14 multi-national mining companies have contracts with the Peruvian National Police, according to an Oct. 28 article in Diario Uno.

The agreements call for the mining companies to pay police about $30 per day, which converts to about 100 Peruvian Soles per day. The average monthly wage in Peru in Sept. 2016 was 1,702 Soles, according to the Trading Economics website. Continue reading

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Hudbay reduces Rosemont spending, now looks to develop other mining projects first

Hudbay CEO Alan Hair

Hudbay CEO Alan Hair

Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. continues to cut spending on its Rosemont copper project and is now emphasizing developing major projects in Manitoba and Peru before it turns its attention to constructing the $1.5 billion open pit mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson, according to company information released last week.

Hudbay’s deemphasis on Rosemont comes at the same time the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles district office in July recommended denial of a federal Clean Water Act permit needed to construct the mine. The Army Corps regional office in San Francisco is reviewing the recommendation and is expected to make a decision later this winter.

Hudbay CEO Alan Hair told investment analysts in a Nov. 3 conference call the company expects to issue an updated Rosemont technical report in the 1st Quarter of 2017 “outlining the feasibility work completed to date and an updated reserve and resource estimate.”

Investment analysts appear to have written off any possibility of Rosemont being developed in the next two years. Mathew Fields of Bank of America Merrill Lynch stated “we can get forget about Rosemont for while” when he asked about Hudbay’s capital expenditure plans for 2017 and 2018, according to a transcript of the conference call published by Yahoo Finance. Continue reading

Posted in Hudbay, Investors | 3 Comments

Pima County asks Army Corps to deny Clean Water Act permit needed to construct Hudbay’s Rosemont copper mine

Pima County is formally requesting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers San Francisco regional office to uphold a July recommendation from the Corps’ Los Angeles district to deny a Clean Water Act permit needed to construct the proposed Rosemont copper project.

“Denying a CWA Section 404 permit is the best decision that can be made with the existing technologies and conditions presented by this particular mine,” Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry states in an Oct. 21 letter to the Corps’ regional commander Col. D. Peter Helmlinger.

Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. is seeking state and federal permits to construct the $1.5 billion Rosemont open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest 30 miles southeast of Tucson. The CWA Section 404 permit is the last major federal permit required before construction could begin on the project.

The Corps’ Los Angeles district office recommended permit denial in late July, according to an Aug. 1 story in the Arizona Daily Star. Continue reading

Posted in Clean Water Act, Hudbay | 4 Comments

Hudbay executive says Rosemont mining plan is being revised

Hudbay Minerals Inc. is preparing a revised mining plan for its proposed Rosemont open-pit copper project in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson; a corporate executive recently disclosed to a mining news website.

“We actually hope within the next six to eight months to produce more disclosure on Rosemont so we can show what Hudbay’s plan is, because it’s changed a little from the Augusta plan on how we would operate, build, and mine it,”  Cashel Meagher, Hudbay’s chief operating officer, told in a Sept. 18 profile.

“We are working on a more robust capital construction scenario with a more thoughtful mining plan,” Meagher is quoted as saying.

Meagher’s statement indicates that Hudbay is delaying the release of a definitive feasibility study for Rosemont. The report, which is required by regulators and used by lenders and investors to evaluate a mining project, was expected to be released by mid-2016, according to a January news release.

In January, Hudbay said it would spend $30 million completing the study that would provide the foundation for its decision on future investments in the $1.5 billion Rosemont project. A month later, Hudbay said the $30 million would be spent over the entire year, rather than the first six months of 2016. Continue reading

Posted in Feasibility Study, General | 3 Comments