Welcome to Save the Scenic Santa Ritas!
Save the Scenic Santa Ritas is a non-profit organization that is working to protect the Santa Rita and Patagonia Mountains from environmental degradation caused by mining and mineral exploration activities. Our current activities are centered around the proposed Rosemont Copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains.
Read the latest news on Rosemont's continued attack on our environment, air and water reources and the overwhelming community support to stop the proposed mine.
TUCSON, Ariz., June 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Augusta Resource Corporation's annual shareholder meeting in Vancouver, B.C. takes place tomorrow amid increasing regulatory and financial uncertainty regarding its only project, the proposedRosemont Copper mine in Arizona.
Augusta's working capital is plummeting, its independent auditor has raised doubts about whether Augusta as a "growing concern",and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency describes the company's key water mitigation plan as scientificalyy flawed.
Augusta's proposed mile-wide, half-mile deep Rosemont open pit mine threatens critical Sonoran Desert surface and ground water supplies on which area residents, ranchers, farmers and businesses depend, and it would destroy several thousand acres of National Forest in the environmentally sensitive Santa Rita Mountains. The mountains are home to a dozen threatened and endangered species, including the jaguar, and host culturally significant Native American sites. The Santa Ritas sit in the heart of southern Arizona's $2.5 billion a year tourism industry.
"Augusta and its investors, including HudBay Mineral Resources, will continue to face fierce opposition from citizens that are vehemently opposed to this disastrous project," says Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll.
"If Augusta and its investors believe they can steamroll this community with platitudes and promises and pressure regulators into issuing permits so they can enrich its investors, they are in for a rude awakening," Carroll, a Republican, added.
Augusta states in regulatory filings that its Rosemont Copper Company subsidiary expects to receive Forest Service approvals and an Army Corps of Engineers' Clean Water Act permit by the end of the Third Quarter, with construction beginning by the end of the year.
"Augusta's claims are a desperate attempt to convince investors that mining is imminent," says Gayle Hartmann, president of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, a Tucson-based citizen's coalition that has successfully worked for decades to keep mining projects out of the popular mountain range southeast of Tucson.
"This project is nowhere near final approval, and we are determined it will never break ground," Hartmann says. "Augusta and its investors are wasting time and money continuing their effort to build this mine."
Augusta had $6 million cash at the end of the 1st Quarter and has been burning through cash at a rate of about id="mce_marker"0 million a quarter. The highly-diluted, speculative junior mining company has 144 million shares outstanding, with Rosemont being its only asset.
For the last two years, Augusta has relied on short-term loans from London-based copper hedge fund Red Kite Explorer Trust for operating capital. Red Kite's $83 million loan is due in July 2014. Augusta has pledged Rosemont Copper Co.as collateral for the loan.
Save the Scenic Santa Ritas is a non-profit organization working to protect the Santa Rita and Patagonia Mountains from environmental degradation caused by mining and mineral exploration activities. Our current activities are focused on the proposed Rosemont Copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains.
For Immediate Release: January 31, 2013
Statement of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas on Rosemont Air Permit
(Tucson, Ariz.) Below is the statement of Gayle Hartmann, President of Save the Scenic Santa Ritas (SSSR) regarding the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s (ADEQ’s) decision to issue the air quality permit for the proposed Rosemont Copper mine.
Once again, Rosemont's PR spin has gotten ahead of the facts. According to their previous press releases, they should have already been mining and destroying the Santa Ritas years ago.
ADEQ's approval of this permit is not surprising. This agency has been decimated by budget cuts, and is beholden to the regulated entities that pay the permitting fees to keep it afloat.
We will closely examine this permit and determine our next steps including an appeal.
This mine is far from a certainty.
The Forest Service has indefinitely postponed completion of the environmental analysis of the Rosemont project and a decision on it.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to include the mine site as critical habit for the endangered jaguar. There is indisputable photographic evidence that only known jaguar remaining in North America spends time near the proposed Rosemont project.
In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has seriously questioned the federal Clean Water Act permit that Rosemont needs to obtain from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. EPA has veto power over any Clean Water Act permit issued by the Corps.
The bottom line is that this mine threatens our air, our mountains, along with the lives and livelihoods of those who live and work here. Rosemont thinks they can wear us down, but they underestimate our resilience.
Cyanide Beach now available for free public distribution
Watch Cyanide Beach, an explosive new documentary from award-winning investigative journalist John Dougherty, that exposes the Canadian mining speculators who are behind a proposal to open the massive Rosemont Copper mine just outside Tucson, Arizona.
The revealing 24-minute film chronicles the deceptive business tactics of top executives at Augusta Resource Corporation - owner of Rosemont Copper - when they owned and operated an open-pit gold mine in Sardinia Italy from 2003-07. You’ll see how they left behind a trail of unpaid vendors, a misspent government loan, hidden investors, and a toxic mess known to locals as "Cyanide Beach."
Watch the film below and visit Dougherty’s Investigative Media website to learn more.
Augusta Resource's Rosemont copper mine facing questions and mounting opposition
TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Two Arizona Congressmen and a southern Arizona county executive have raised serious questions about Rosemont Copper Company and its proposed copper mine near Tucson. Read full press release or download the release here.
Update on Rosemont's Air Quality Permit application
The deadline to submit comments to ADEQ on Rosemont's proposed air quality permit has passed. If you would like to view the comments submitted by SSSR and our broader coalition, they may be downloaded here:
What would happen if a haboob were to sweep across Rosemont's proposed massive "dry stack" waste dump? It would spread poisonous dust and debris across nearby communities, including Tucson. Check out the below video!
PRESS RELEASE - 11/2/12
Air permit for Rosemont Mine threatens public health and air quality
Letter from 130 Southern Arizona residents and organizations asks State to withdraw draft permit
(Tucson, Ariz.) A broad-based citizen’s coalition, citing threats to public health and air quality in southern Arizona, is calling on the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to withdraw a draft air quality permit for the proposed massive open-pit mine in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson.
PRESS RELEASE - 5/14/2012
Local Coalition Files Appeal to Protect Tucson and Southern Arizona Water Supplies
A diverse coalition of southern Arizonans charged today that a key water quality permit will allow Rosemont Copper Company to pollute area groundwater supplies with mercury, arsenic, lead and other dangerous contaminants —without oversight or consequence—for at least two years after mining operations begin.
PRESS RELEASE - 4/2/12
Rosemont Copper CEO Admits Company Didn’t File Disclosures in Arizona
Rosemont Copper Conceals Prior Bankruptcy in Arizona Filings