Coronado National Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch announced Friday that the Forest Service will not issue a Final Environmental Impact statement or Record of Decision for the proposed Rosemont copper mine by the end of the year.
Augusta Resource Corporation, the Vancouver, B.C.-based junior mining company promoting the Rosemont project, has been telling investors and regulators that it expected the Forest Service to release the FEIS and ROD by the end of 2012, with construction to begin early next year.
Upchurch made it clear that the Forest Service will not be releasing either the FEIS or the ROD by year’s end, and refused to provide a timetable when the reports will be issued.
Upchurch’s announcement led to Dundee Securities on Monday to downgrade Augusta’s stock to a sell.
In a 45-minute, Nov. 16 media briefing, Upchurch said the Forest Service is awaiting additional information from Augusta, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Rosemont Copper Company, on several key issues including a new air quality model for the mile-wide, half-mile deep open pit mine in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson.
Mine tailings and waste rock would be spread across more than 3,000 acres of the Coronado National Forest.
Augusta Resource issued a statement after the markets closed on Nov. 16 insisting that it will receive the Forest Service permit within 120 days.
The complete news conference and question and answer session can be viewed here:
© Copyright 2012 John Dougherty, All rights Reserved. Written For: Investigative MEDIA