Hudbay executives brush off invitation to speak at Canadian premiere of documentary critical of Hudbay’s worldwide operations

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TORONTO—Arizona independent filmmaker John Dougherty on Thursday personally invited Hudbay Minerals’ top executives, directors, and shareholders to attend the Canadian premiere of his documentary film “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the company’s troubled worldwide operations.

Mr. Dougherty extended the invitation during Hudbay’s annual shareholder’s meeting and offered an opportunity for Hudbay to answer questions following the upcoming screening of the film at 7:00 p.m., May 24, at the Royal Cinema in downtown Toronto.

Alan Hair, Hudbay’s President and CEO, brushed off the offer saying, “Thank you for the infomercial.” He then immediately adjourned the meeting.

Toronto is the first stop of a 13-city tour spanning Canada that will include stops in Montreal on May 25 and Ottawa on May 26 before heading west to Winnipeg on June 7 and Flin Flon on June 10.

The film documents Hudbay’s history of pollution in Flin Flon, conflict with First Nations in Manitoba, alleged atrocities at a nickel mine in Guatemala, brutality in Peru, and plans to construct a massive open-pit copper mine in Arizona in an environmentally-sensitive area that is the home to the only known wild jaguar in the United States.

The Canadian release of the film comes shortly after the New York Times in a front-page, Sunday story reported on allegations of Hudbay committing serious human rights abuses in Guatemala.

Hudbay is the subject of three civil suits in Toronto from Guatemalan peasants who allege the company committed gang rapes, murder and a shooting that left a man paralyzed.

Canadian author Alain Deneault will join Mr. Dougherty for the Montreal screening to answer audience questions following the screening. Mr. Deneault is the co-author of Imperial Canada Inc.: Legal Haven of Choice for the World’s Mining Industries.

Publication of the book was delayed two years after Vancouver-based Barrick Gold threatened to file a defamation lawsuit against the authors and publishers.

The Hon. John McKay, a Liberal Member of Parliament, is sending his Legislative Assistant to attend the Ottawa screening. Mr. McKay called for stronger oversight of Canadian mining operations abroad in the wake of the New York Times story.

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Award-winning journalist screening Hudbay exposé during Canadian tour

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Film highlights miner’s record of human rights and environmental abuses

(Phoenix, Ariz) Arizona investigative journalist John Dougherty will begin a 10-city Canadian tour on May 24 at the Royal Theatre in Toronto to screen his documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the worldwide operations of Hudbay Minerals, Inc.

The Canadian release of Mr. Dougherty’s exposé comes shortly after a New York Times April 2 front-page story reported on Hudbay’s dismal human rights record in Guatemala and pending civil litigation in Ontario that has national consequences for Canadian mining companies operating abroad.

Hudbay stands accused of murder, a shooting and gang rapes in connection with conflicts with indigenous communities in Guatemala. The film includes interviews conducted in September 2014 with many of the same Guatemalans featured in the Times story.

“Hudbay has a long history of tightly controlling information released to the media and the public,” Mr. Dougherty says. “This film produced in the United States provides a rare glimpse into the operations of one of Canada’s oldest mining companies without the threat of a defamation lawsuit that has been used by Canadian mining companies to stop publication of information in Canada. [Read more…]

Documentary exposes how a Canadian miner is seeking to destroy the habitat of the nation’s only known wild jaguar

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Rimrock, AZ—InvestigativeMEDIA’s documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” reveals the controversial history of Toronto-based miner Hudbay Minerals Inc. that is now seeking state and federal permits to construct a massive open-pit copper mine in the habitat of the nation’s only known jaguar.

A new video capturing the movements of the jaguar named El Jefe released this week is attracting widespread media attention. The video was produced and released by the Center for Biological Diversity and Conservation CATalyst.

Photo by Jonathan Troung

Photo by Jonathan Troung

The jaguar video comes just weeks after InvestigativeMEDIA released “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the worldwide operations of Hudbay Minerals and its plans to construct the Rosemont mine on the Coronado National Forest in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson, Arizona.

The documentary exposes Hudbay’s history of operating Canada’s most polluting copper smelter, the company’s alleged atrocities in Guatemala where it stands accused in a Toronto civil trial of murder, gang rapes and a shooting that left a man paralyzed, as well as the company’s conflicts with indigenous people in Peru.

The biologically-rich Santa Rita Mountains host a dozen endangered species including the jaguar. The proposed copper mine would destroy more than 3,000 acres of Coronado National Forest and render the northern half of the Santa Rita Mountains useless for recreation, according to the Arizona Game & Fish Department.

“The Rosemont Mine would destroy El Jefe’s home and severely hamstring recovery of jaguars in the United States,” said Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the Center. “The Santa Rita Mountains are critically important to jaguar recovery in this country, and they must be protected.”

Hudbay still needs a state Air Quality Control Permit, a federal Clean Water Act permit, and final approval from the U.S. Forest Service before the mine could proceed.

InvestigativeMEDIA releases online version of Hudbay Minerals documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam”

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“Flin Flon Flim Flam” takes an unflinching look into the operations of one of Canada’s oldest miners

InvestigativeMEDIA’s documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” on the worldwide operations of Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals Inc. and its plans to construct the Rosemont Copper Mine on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson, AZ, is now available online.

Produced by Arizona-based investigative reporter John Dougherty, the film premiered Oct. 18 at the Loft Cinema in Tucson and was broadcast on KGUN-9 on Dec. 13 in a special edition of Tucson’s weekly public affairs show ZonaPolitics.

Mr. Dougherty traveled to northern Manitoba to report on Hudbay’s historic operations, to the Guatemala highlands where Mayan peasants allege they are the victims of atrocities at the hands of Hudbay, and to the Peruvian Andes where Hudbay has clashed with the local community over the company’s largest operation, the Constancia Mine.

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“Flin Flon Flim Flam” to be broadcast at 4 p.m., Dec. 13 on Tucson’s KGUN-9

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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 documentary will be aired in a special edition of Tucson journalist Jim Nintzel‘s ZonaPolitics weekly news show.

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.

 

Nov. 20 Green Valley screenings set for Hudbay Minerals documentary

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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.Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 2.53.00 PM

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.

Local Green Valley residents pack the house for Cyanide Beach.

Local Green Valley residents pack the house for Cyanide Beach.

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.

 

InvestigativeMEDIA’s documentary on Hudbay Minerals to screen Nov. 1 in Tucson

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FLIN FLON FLIM FLAMScreen Shot 2015-10-23 at 8.17.52 PM

4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 1

The Loft Cinema

3233 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716

$10 (benefits Arizona Center for Investigative Journalism, Inc., a nonprofit 501-c3)

………………………………………….

InvestigativeMEDIA turns its unflinching focus on Canadian miner Hudbay Minerals Inc. and its controversial plans to construct the massive Rosemont open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson.

InvestigativeMEDIA’s John Dougherty documents Hudbay’s legacy of lead poisoning in a remote Manitoba community where the company operated a notorious copper smelter for 80 years.

He then turns to Hudbay’s former operations in Guatemala where the company stands accused of murder, rape and shootings in a precedent setting civil trial.

Dougherty travels to the Peruvian Andes documenting indigenous villagers occupying a mine site after Peruvian police beat and teargased protestors angry over Hudbay’s failure to abide by an agreement.

Dougherty uncovers Hudbay’s misleading statements over its proposed Rosemont copper project and the ecological treasure that would be destroyed if the mine were constructed. (Dir. by John Dougherty, 2015, in English/Spanish/English subtitles, 51 mins.)

InvestigativeMEDIA’S documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” to premiere Oct. 18 in Tucson

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FLIN FLON FLIM FLAM

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 18, AT 4 PM

$10 (benefits Arizona Center for Investigative Journalism, Inc., a nonprofit 501-c3)

………………………………………….

InvestigativeMEDIA turns its unflinching focus on Canadian miner Hudbay Minerals Inc. and its controversial plans to construct the massive Rosemont open-pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson.

InvestigativeMEDIA’s John Dougherty documents Hudbay’s legacy of lead poisoning in a remote Manitoba community where the company operated a notorious copper smelter for 80 years.

He then turns to Hudbay’s former operations in Guatemala where the company stands accused of murder, rape and shootings in a precedent setting civil trial.

Dougherty travels to the Peruvian Andes documenting indigenous villagers occupying a mine site after Peruvian police beat and teargased protestors angry over Hudbay’s failure to abide by an agreement.

Dougherty uncovers Hudbay’s misleading statements over its proposed Rosemont copper project and the ecological treasure that would be destroyed if the mine were constructed. (Dir. by John Dougherty, 2015, in English/Spanish/English subtitles, 48 mins.)

Augusta Resource’s top officers have a 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…]