Augusta Resource’s top officers have history of bankruptcies, cease trade orders and stock exchange delistings

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Augusta Resource Corporation Chairman Richard Warke and board member Donald B. Clark have been business partners for more than two decades.

Warke, a venture stock promoter, and Clark, a banker, have served on the board of directors of several Vancouver, B.C.-based public companies.

From their offices in the Terminal City Tower overlooking downtown Vancouver’s waterfront, Warke and Clark now manage several speculative mining companies including Augusta Resource Corporation, Wildcat Silver Corporation and Riva Gold Corporation.

Augusta owns the Rosemont Copper Company, which is seeking permits to build an open pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson. Wildcat Silver is seeking government permits to construct a silver mine near Patagonia, Ariz. Riva Gold has mining claims in Guyana.

Richard Warke

Their business partnership began in 1991, when both men served on the board of First Western Metals. First Western ran into financial difficulties and was issued cease trade orders by Canadian securities regulators in 1991 and 1992. First Western later changed its name to Augusta Metals Corp. before acquiring Cybercom, Inc.

Warke and Clark were on the Cybercom board when Canadian regulators issued the education software company a cease trade order in 2002 for failing to file annual financial statements. The CTO was never lifted.

Warke and Clark also served on the board of directors of West Coast Plywood Company and were corporate officers when the company filed for bankruptcy in July 1995.

Wark and Clark, along with four other current and former board members of Augusta Resource, served on the board of Sargold Resource Corporation. Sargold operated an open-pit gold mine in Sardinia. See related story and documentary.

Clark also has an extensive background on the board of directors of several U.S. corporations, most notably, Pasadena, Calif.-based Conversion Industries, Inc.

Clark resigned from the Conversion board of directors in October 1994, 12 days after the American Stock Exchange announced its intention to delist Conversion for alleged trading irregularities.

Donald Clark

Conversion reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March 1995 and agreed to be delisted from the AMEX. Conversion filed bankruptcy in May 1995.

Warke’s business history includes a 1989 insider trading settlement agreement with a British Columbia Securities Commission and a personal bankruptcy proposal filed in September 1998 and satisfied in November 2002.

Warke is listed on the British Columbia Securities Commission website under the commission’s “Disciplined Persons and Investment Caution” section.

The corporate and personal bankruptcies, stock exchange delistings and cease trade orders described above were not disclosed in some subsequent filings by public companies that included Warke and Clark as directors. Among these companies is Augusta Resource.

Warke’s personal bankruptcy was frequently omitted from corporate disclosures that require personal bankruptcies to be reported for 10 years. Augusta Resource, for example, did not disclose Warke’s bankruptcy filing even as the case was ongoing between Sept. 15, 1998 and Nov. 22, 2002.

Augusta Resource did not disclose Warke’s bankruptcy until April 6, 2006, regulatory filings indicate. Augusta Resource continued to disclose Warke’s bankruptcy in 2007 and 2008.

The company, as well as other public companies that include Warke and Clark on the board of directors, have not disclosed the bankruptcy since October 2008, except on one occasion.

Ventana Gold Corporation disclosed the bankruptcy on Oct. 31, 2008, which is more than 10 years after Warke filed the petition on Sept. 15, 1998.

The company stated: “The Trustee acting in the Proposal certified the Proposal as fully performed on November 21, 2002 and he was thereby discharged.”

British Columbia Securities Commission Deputy Director of Finance Andrew Richardson stated in a Dec. 15, 2010 telephone interview that personal bankruptcy proceedings must be reported on corporate disclosures for 10 years from the date of filing the initial case and continuing through the date the bankruptcy is concluded. If a case takes four years to conclude, the effective disclosure period is 14 years, he said.

In early September, BCSC spokesman Richard Gilhooley stated in an email that the 10-year disclosure period is not tied to the conclusion date of a bankruptcy. Gilhooley said there are certain events, however, that can trigger the initiation of the 10-year disclosure period beyond the initial filing date of the bankruptcy.

Gilhooley said the Commission does not have a “definitive answer” of whether Warke’s October 2002 bankruptcy default is a triggering event that requires disclosure of the bankruptcy for 10 years from the default date.

InvestigativeMEDIA has included all known examples of companies failing to disclose Warke’s bankruptcy from 2000 through 2012 in a written and video timeline of the business history of Augusta Resource’s longtime business partners. [Read more…]

Former Rosemont Mine investor poised to gross $400 million on Arizona Mining Inc. sale

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(Reprinted with permission from Rosemontminetruth.com)

Richard Warke, the former top executive of Augusta Resource Corp. which sold the proposed Rosemont copper project to Hudbay Minerals in 2014, stands to gross US$409 million in connection with the sale of another company with a proposed mining project in southeastern Arizona.

Richard Warke

Australia-based South32 has offered US$1.3 billion cash to purchase Arizona Mining Inc.’s Hermosa mine project six miles south of Patagonia. The Hermosa Project comprises the zinc-lead-silver Taylor deposit and the zinc-manganese-silver Central deposit.

South32 is Australia’s third largest mining company and already held a 17 percent share in Arizona Mining prior to making the June 15 offer. Arizona Mining’s board of directors unanimously recommended shareholders approve the sale. Warke is Arizona Mining’s executive chairman.

South32’s offer of C$6.20 a share was about 50 percent higher than Arizona Mining’s June 15 closing price on the Toronto Stock Exchange. South32’s shareholders’ approval is not required and the deal is expected to close in September, according at a joint press release issued by the two companies.

Warke controls 88 million shares of Arizona Mining according to the company’s most recent Management Information Circular filed with Canadian securities regulators. The huge windfall comes 20 years after Warke filed for personal bankruptcy in Vancouver, British Colombia during a period in which he was engulfed in financial problems including a corporate bankruptcy and several cease trade orders issued by Canadian regulators.

Warke failed to disclose the personal and corporate bankruptcies and cease trade orders in subsequent regulatory filings spanning nearly a decade, according to a complaint filed by Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, a Tucson-based conservation group, with the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission .

Warke’s personal bankruptcy filing came 9 years after he signed a settlement agreement with the BCSC on an insider trading violation. As a result of the settlement agreement, Warke remains on the BCSC website under the warning “Disciplined Persons and Investment Caution.[Read more…]

Dougherty Resume

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Resume

John E. Dougherty III

Phoenix, AZ

602-810-4849

[email protected]

Investigative Reporter
The Revelator
Jan. 2017-April 18, 2018
www.therevelator.org

My stories include a four-part series on Hilcorp Energy Company and investigative features on Bears Ears National Monument, Cliven Bundy, Trump’s proposed offshore oil and gas plan, delisting of Yellowstone Grizzly Bears a three-part series on collapsing wastewater infrastructure on the U.S.-Mexico border, and a story about Interior Secretary Zinke’s top aides.

InvestigativeMedia, LLC
Editor and Owner
Freelance Journalism
September 2006 to Present
www.investigativemedia.com

Clients:
The New York Times, WashingtonIndependent.com, CBS News,
The Arizona Republic, High Country News, Phoenix New Times
and select private clients.

For several years, I served as the primary Arizona freelancer for The New York Times and covered high profile events including the trial of polygamist cult leader Warren Jeffs.

I also produced two documentary films for a private client that is opposed to construction of the Rosemont Copper Mine in southeast Arizona. I have extensive experience in reporting on mining in the United States, Canada, Guatemala and Peru. In April, 2017 I was detained by immigration police and Peruvian National Police for screening my film Flin Flon Flim Flam to local communities. I was subsequently banned from re-entering the country. My case is on appeal.

I was named first runner-up for Arizona Journalist of the Year in 2014 for my reporting on the Yarnell Hill Fire that killed 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.  The stories appeared on my www.investigativemedia.com website and several were published in Phoenix New Times. I contributed on Yarnell Hill Fire stories for the New York Times.

Phoenix New Times
Phoenix, Arizona
Staff writer 1993-2004
Staff columnist 2004 – 2006
www.phoenixnewtimes.com
March 1, 1993 – September 1, 2006

During the first 11 years as a feature writer I produced one major story a month ranging between 4,000 and 8,000 words plus one news short up to 1,500 words. My stories covered a wide range of topics including business, environmental, politics, government corruption, financial scandals, personality profiles, economic trends and land development.

Major investigations included the financial background of former Arizona Governor J. Fife Symington that uncovered widespread financial irregularities in his real estate business and unusual connections with a Mexican farmer who’s US visa had been suspended after cash was found in his jet. Symington was indicted and convicted on federal charges and resigned from office in Sept. 1997. He was later pardoned by President Clinton.

My investigation into fundamentalist Mormon polygamist Warren Jeffs exposed the widespread abuses in Colorado City, Arizona years before Jeffs was indicted on federal charges. The multi-part investigation exposed financial fraud through the government operations in Colorado City, including the public-school district. My probe also uncovered a genetic defect called fumarase deficiency spread by inbreeding that inflicted horrific birth defects.

During this period, I was named Virg Hill Arizona Journalist of the Year twice and runner up twice.

In the early 2004, I started writing a news column and frequently reported on financial issues related to former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. My reporting on Arpaio’s extensive land holdings that were hidden from the county’s Recorder’s records led to the sheriff and former Maricopa County Attorney Andy Thomas to launch a grand jury investigation into my reporting.

I won first place for column writing from the Arizona Press Club in 2006 and second place in the “Best of The West” contest. I resigned from New Times in September 2006.

The Southwest Sage
Flagstaff, Arizona
Founder, Owner, Editor and Publisher of a free weekly newspaper distributed in Northern Arizona
August 1, 1992 – February 28, 1993

I handled all aspects of producing the paper including editing, reporting, writing, photography, layout, designing and building ads, distribution and business operations. The Sage was named Arizona’s best weekly paper by the Arizona Press Club and my cartoonist won first place in editorial cartooning competing against all newspapers in Arizona.

East Valley Tribune
Mesa, Arizona
General assignment and political reporter
August 1, 1991 –July 31, 1992

I focused on the scandal erupting around Arizona Governor J. Fife Symington and his real estate business. I wrote a series of stories that foreshadowed the financial and political problems that would engulf Symington later in his tenure as governor. I was named Virg Hill Arizona Journalist of the Year for my Symington coverage.

Half Moon Bay Review
Half Moon Bay, CA
Managing Editor and staff writer
August 1, 1990 — July 31, 1991

I edited all news copy, assigned art, wrote headlines, designed pages, reported and wrote stories, wrote editorials and conducted several major investigations of the city’s relationship with a non-profit farmer’s organization that held a multi-million-dollar arts festival each year. During my tenure, The Review was named California’s second best weekly newspaper.

Dayton Daily News
Dayton, Ohio
Business reporter/Environmental reporter
January 15, 1989 – August 1990

I covered banking and the automobile industry. I wrote a front page, Sunday story that was later credited during Senate Ethics Committee hearings for triggering the Keating Five investigation. I was an environmental reporter during the latter part of my tenure and completed a major computer-assisted project on toxic releases from Ohio industries that focused on the role of coal- fired power plants contributing to acid rain.

East Valley Tribune
Mesa, Arizona
Business reporter
April 1, 1988 –January 15, 1989

I wrote a wide range of stories about the collapse of the commercial real estate market and the Arizona thrift industry, including stories documenting major federal law suits filed against thrift executives.

The Phoenix Gazette
Phoenix, Arizona
Business reporter
June 1984 -April 1988

I primarily covered agriculture and water issues in Arizona. I focused on the widespread abuse of federal subsidy payments to corporate farmers, the degradation of millions of acres of grazing land by livestock interests and the complexities of Arizona’s water delivery system that is heavily subsidized by federal projects including the Central Arizona Project and hydroelectric power plants on the Colorado River. I also reported on the state’s high-tech industry and military bases.

The Washington Post
Washington, DC
September 1978 – March 1984.

Sports desk: I worked nights and weekends on the sports desk as a copy aide. I also
covered high school, college and amateur sports.

Financial Desk: I was a regular contributor to Washington Monday, the Post’s business news tabloid where I wrote on a range of topics from United Nuclear Corporations nuclear accident in New Mexico to the business interests of members of the 1972 Washington Redskins Super Bowl Championship team.

The State Press
Arizona State University
Staff reporter
August 1977-December 1977

Sports Editor
January 1977-May 1977

Education

B.S. Journalism, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 1978
B.S. Economics, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 1981

Honors

Inducted into The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism Hall of Fame, Arizona State University

References:

John Broder
Staff writer
The New York Times
[email protected]

John Mecklin
Editor-in-chief
[email protected]

Jeremy Voas
Former Editor
Phoenix New Times
[email protected]

Jon Talton
Former Business Editor
Dayton Daily News, Charlotte Observer, Denver Post
Financial columnist Seattle Times
[email protected]