The documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on Toronto-based miner Hudbay Minerals‘ worldwide operations and the company’s plans for the proposed Rosemont open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest east of Tucson will be broadcast at 4 p.m., Dec. 13 on Tucson’s KGUN-9.
The film reports on the environmental destruction that would occur if Hudbay Minerals obtains state and federal permits to construct the Rosemont mine on the northeastern face of the Santa Rita Mountains and the threat to Green Valley’s water supply from Hudbay’s planned groundwater pumping.
The documentary also reports on Hudbay’s operating legacy including contaminating its home community in Flin Flon, Manitoba with high levels of heavy metals from a smelter the company operated for more than 80 years.
The 51-minute film also reports on Hudbay’s former mine in El Estor, Guatemala where the company’s security guards allegedly clashed with residents over land claims. A Mayan community leader was shot to death and another man left paralyzed in the September 2009 violence.
Hudbay is now the target of a three, precedent-setting civil suits in Toronto that have withstood the company’s attempts to have the case thrown out. The cases are proceeding to trial. The cases mark the first time a Canadian company is being held accountable in Canadian courts for the acts of an overseas subsidiary.
The documentary also reports on demonstrations and community opposition to Hudbay’s recently opened Constancia open pit copper mine in Uchucarco, Peru. Residents in the community were beaten and teargassed by Peruvian National Police . Residents in the rural community claim Hudbay reneged on its promises to the community in exchange for rights to the land for the open pit mine.
Hudbay has promised to replace groundwater it pumps from the Santa Cruz River Valley with Central Arizona Project Canal water. Critics, however, cast doubt that Hudbay will be able to fulfill its promise as Colorado River supplies continue to decline.
Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll criticizes the company for engaging in what he says is a “cover up” and “white collar malfeasance” over Hudbay’s failure to publicly disclose to its shareholders and regulators that its Air Quality Control permit for the Rosemont project was overturned last February by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge.
This is the second documentary produced by award-winning reporter John Dougherty on the proposed Rosemont mine project.
The 2012 film “Cyanide Beach” revealed the checkered history of the top executives of Augusta Resource Corporation, the previous owners of the Rosemont mine site. Cyanide Beach won first place as best educational film at the Yosemite International Film festival and attracted large crowds at screenings across southern Arizona.
Hudbay acquired Augusta in 2014 in a $500 million stock deal.