Hudbay’s Rosemont Copper Project Remains in Legal Gridlock

- October 30th, 2019

A district court has affirmed its August ruling, effectively shutting down Hudbay’s Rosemont copper asset in Arizona.

Miner Hudbay Minerals (TSX:HBM,NYSE:HBM) has vowed to keep appealing after a court remained steadfast in its decision to bar the company from building its Rosemont copper project. 

The company announced its intention to challenge the “unprecedented” decision back in August, when the US District Court for the District of Arizona ruled in favor of complainant conservation groups, effectively halting all operations at the asset in Southeastern Arizona.

Speaking to Reuters this week, Hudbay’s director of investor relations, Candace Brule, further asserted the company’s disappointment with the latest decision.

“This ruling confirms that the court continues to misinterpret decades of precedent and the federal regulations and mining laws that govern the Rosemont project,” she said.

Conservation groups are mainly concerned with waste disposal, which would occur on public lands close to the mining operation.

According to US District Judge James Soto, there is no basis to reconsider the initial ruling.

Hudbay has been involved with Rosemont since 2014, and earlier this year the company increased its stake by buying United Copper & Moly’s 7.95 percent interest in the asset.

In late March 2019, the company announced its plans for early works programs at Rosemont, with expectations that the asset would produce about 127,000 tonnes of copper a year once fully operational. Hudbay had originally forecast the mine to open in 2022. 

The company’s woes with the Rosemont project are not Hudbay’s only challenges. Waterton Global Resource Management took a stab at leadership earlier this year when it detailed all its concerns and grievances with Hudbay’s executives in a lengthy presentation.

This battle began in earnest back in October 2018, when Waterton called on Hudbay’s executives to cease discussions to acquire Mantos Copper. 

Hudbay’s share price dropped following the latest Rosemont news, decreasing by 1.77 percent in between market close and open on Tuesday (October 29) and Wednesday (October 30). The company’s share price hit a slump on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT, when it traded at C$4.84. 

Copper closed the market at US$5,879 per tonne on Tuesday. 

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Sasha Dhesi, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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