Welcome to Save the Scenic Santa Ritas!
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 focus on the proposed Rosemont Copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains.
NEPA update: What’s Next in the Forest Service’s Review Process for the Rosemont Mine?
The Coronado National Forest has published the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) for the proposed Rosemont Mine online and is expected to make some paper copies available in the next week. The FEIS should include responses to all of the substantive comments that were submitted on the Draft EIS as well as proposed changes in the alternatives and in the analysis of the impacts. At the time of publication, the Forest will publish a legal notice of both documents in the Arizona Daily Star, the newspaper of record for this area. The notice will include a statement that objections to the FEIS must be filed within 45 days of the date of the newspaper notice. Once the legal notice is published, the 45-day clock will start ticking. We expect the deadline for objections to be January 29, 2014. This deadline cannot be extended. (Read more...)
Press Release: November 27, 2013
Rosemont Mine "Not a Done Deal"
(TUCSON, ARIZ) The U.S. Forest Service today announced that it was posting the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the proposed Rosemont Mine on its website for public review. However, the Forest Service also indicated that it was not releasing the draft Record of Decision (ROD) until mid-December. The Forest Service will not issue a final decision until well into 2014 after the public has had an opportunity to review this latest proposal and the agency addresses any objections that are raised. In addition, there are other regulatory approvals that must be obtained before the mine can proceed, including a critical water permit that the EPA recently recommended be denied. (Read more...)
Press Release: November 20, 2013
EPA Recommends Against Federal Water Permit for Rosemont Mine
Mine would cause "substantial and unacceptable impact" to southern Arizona water supplies
(TUCSON, Ariz.) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has dealt a dramatic and potentially devastating blow to Augusta Resource Corporation's proposal to build the Rosemont mine, a massive open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains just south of Tucson.
In a Nov. 7 letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA recommended that the proposed Rosemont copper mine should not receive a permit that would allow the company to dump potentially toxic mine wastes into area waterways.
After completing a comprehensive and detailed analysis, EPA concluded that Rosemont's proposals to mitigate the mine's severe and permanent damage to area water supplies are "scientifically flawed" and "grossly inadequate," and advised the Corps of Engineers that the project "should not be permitted as proposed."
The EPA's recommendation to deny Rosemont's permit application is a potentially devastating blow to the mining project because EPA has veto authority over the permit, which would be issued by the Corps of Engineers only if the proposed mine meets Clean Water Act standards. The permit is required before construction could begin on the mile-wide, half-mile deep open pit mine.
EPA was highly critical of all three components of Rosemont's mitigation proposal, undermining the company's high-profile attempts to claim that the mine will comply with environmental standards. In particular, EPA said that it agreed with the Corps of Engineers that two of the three sites Rosemont was proposing to acquire (Sonoita Creek Ranch and Mulberry Canyon) "would not provide appropriate compensatory mitigation for impacts to waters from the Rosemont Mine project."
With respect to the third proposed Rosemont mitigation acquisition (water rights and land below Pantano Dam), the EPA indicated that it might have some mitigation value for a much smaller project ("e.g., flood control or highway project") but "is inadequate compensation for impacts proposed to be permitted at Rosemont Mine."
EPA's recommendation to deny the Clean Water Act permits comes at an inopportune time for Augusta Resource, Rosemont Copper's parent company. Its stock is hovering at a 52-week low and the company reported less than $750,000 in cash reserves as of Sept. 30, according to regulatory filings released last week.
Augusta's cash crisis raises serious questions as to whether Augusta will have the financial capacity to secure technical expertise to address EPA's latest criticisms of the crucial Clean Water Act permit.
The full EPA letter and analysis can be downloaded at:
Press Release: October 31, 2013
“Cyanide Beach” documentary wins “Best Education Film” at Yosemite International Film Festival
InvestigativeMEDIA is pleased to announce that its documentary film “Cyanide Beach” has been named “Best Education Film” in the 2013 Yosemite International Film Festival. The Yosemite festival awards recognition for some of the world's finest and most visionary independent films made by many of the leading contemporary artists and creative minds working in cinema and screenwriting today.
Watch Cyanide Beach, an explosive documentary from award-winning investigative journalist, John Dougherty. The 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 their trail of unpaid vendors, a misspent government loan, hidden investors, and a toxic mess that locals call "Cyanide Beach."
Learn more at Dougherty’s Investigative Media website.
Press Release: Oct. 15, 2013
Save the Scenic Santa Ritas releases Investor Update on Augusta Resource Corporation
Today, Save the Scenic Santa Ritas (SSSR), a non-profit environmental organization comprised of ranchers, small business owners and community members opposing the proposed massive Rosemont open-pit copper mine released an Investor Update on Augusta Resource. This Investor Update can be accessed by clicking here.
Augusta Resource, a junior Canadian mining company, is seeking through its Rosemont Copper subsidiary, permits to build a massive open-pit copper mine on 4,000-acres in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest just south of Tucson.
This Investor Update provides current and potential investors with essential information that the company may not have provided in its investor relations efforts. It is not intended to provide investment advice, but rather to share critical information upon which to base future decisions.
The Investor Update describes important actions concerning Augusta’s proposal, provides an overview of the company and the questionable background of key officers, and identifies unresolved regulatory issues that could block approval of the mine. The information in the update is robustly sourced having been derived from regulatory records, Augusta Resource’s financial filings, and technical reports and various media accounts.
The proposed mine would have devastating impacts on Southern Arizona’s water, air, wildlife and economy and there is unprecedented opposition. Political, business, tribal and environmental leaders have joined with citizens from all walks of life to oppose this project. Their opposition is based on its impacts to the quality of life and economy of both current and future Southern Arizona residents and businesses.
Because of its devastating impacts on the Santa Rita Mountains and threats to regional water resources, BankTrack, a global network that tracks the environmental impacts of the financial sector is closely following the proposed Rosemont Copper mine. Click here to read the BankTrack report on the Rosemont project.
SSSR 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.
Press Release: Sept. 16, 2013
Forest Service Makes the Right Call on Rosemont Mine