Three-time Arizona Journalist of the Year John Dougherty will present his documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” at two screenings on Nov. 20 in Green Valley.
The 51-minute film reports 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.
Dougherty will host a question/answer session following the screenings.
The film will be shown at 9 a.m. at the Desert Sky Cinema, 70 W. Duval Road, in Sahuarita and at 7 p.m. at the Madera Clubhouse, 2055 E. Quail Crossing Road in Green Valley. A suggested donation of $10 will benefit the nonprofit Arizona Center for Investigative Journalism, Inc.
The exposé reveals how Hudbay contaminated 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 documentary also reports on the impact to residents of 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.
Dougherty 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 wearing rain gear provided by Hudbay Minerals. Residents in the rural community claim Hudbay has reneged on its promises to the community in exchange for rights to the land for the open pit mine.
The film also 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. 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.
The film premiered on Oct. 20 at the Loft Cinema in Tucson drawing more than 150 people. The documentary screened a second time at the Loft Cinema on Nov. 1.
This is the second documentary produced by 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.
The film 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.