“Cyanide Beach” to premiere in Washington, D.C. on April 25


InvestigativeMEDIA is pleased to announce the Washington, D.C. premiere of “Cyanide Beach” is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., April 25 at the award-winning E Street Cinema. Admission is free.

“The Washington screening of “Cyanide Beach” is a major milestone in our nationwide effort to inform the public and key policy makers of how a speculative Canadian mining company with a history of deception is exploiting outdated U.S. mining laws in its effort to build a massive open-pit copper mine on public lands in Southern Arizona,” says InvestigativeMEDIA Editor and Filmmaker John Dougherty.

Rep. Raul Grijalva, (D-AZ), Earthworks Executive Director Jennifer Krill and Earthworks Policy Director Lauren Pagel will attend the screening and answer questions about efforts to reform the General Mining Act of 1872.

InvestigativeMEDIA’s 24-minute video reveals the unethical business tactics of Augusta Resource Corporation’s top executives when they owned and operated a gold mine in Sardinia, Italy between 2003 and 2007.

Augusta Resource owns the Rosemont Copper Company, which is seeking government permits to build a mile-wide, half-mile deep copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest southeast of Tucson.

Earthworks has dubbed the Rosemont mine project as the “poster child” for reforming the antiquated mining law.

The Washington Post selected the E Street Cinema as Washington’s Best Movie Theater in 2011 and 2012.

InvestigativeMedia releases 7,000 pages of Forest Service records on proposed Rosemont copper mine


InvestigativeMedia is pleased to release more than 7,000 pages of  Coronado National Forest records on the proposed Rosemont open-pit copper mine. The records were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The records include internal emails and supporting documents from January 2012 through early February providing a first-hand look at the permitting process for the proposed mile-wide, half-mile deep mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest about 35 miles southeast of Tucson.

InvestigativeMedia encourages the public and other media to analyze the information and provide feedback on this site. The goal is to encourage public-interest, cloud reporting using this site as a clearinghouse of information, feedback, comments and suggestions on additional reporting.

InvestigativeMedia will issue a series of reports based on these records and information from other sources, including the public.

The Forest Service records are in two large PDF files available here and here.

The release of records is part of InvestigativeMedia’s ongoing review of Augusta Resource Corporation’s proposed Rosemont copper mine, including the 2012 documentary Cyanide Beach.

Update: InvestigativeMEDIA releases “Rosemont’s Power Play” report and announces digital release of “Cyanide Beach”


The multimedia project includes:

  • Report:  A Sardinian gold mine unearths the deceptive business tactics of Rosemont Copper’s top executives. (Click Here)
  • Timeline: The top officers of Rosemont Copper’s parent company, Augusta Resource Corporation, have a history of bankruptcies, cease trade orders and stock exchange delistings (Click Here)

The multimedia project focuses on Augusta Resource Corporation, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based speculative mining company that wants to build a massive open pit copper mine in the environmentally-sensitive Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest 35 miles south of Tucson, AZ.

InvestigativeMEDIA reviewed thousands of pages of financial documents and conducted interviews in the United States, Canada and Italy to document the business history of Augusta’s key executives.

The probe uncovered a tangled history of cease trade orders,  an insider trading settlement agreement, stock exchange delistings, personal and corporate bankruptcies, false disclosure statements to regulators and an abandoned Sardinian gold mine that is creating serious, ongoing environmental problems.

Las Cienegas National Conservation Area

Augusta owns the Rosemont Copper Company. Rosemont is seeking government permits to build what could become one of the largest copper mines in the United States, producing 240 million pounds of copper annually for approximately 21 years.

The mile-wide, half-mile deep mine would dump waste rock and mine tailings on more than 3,000 acres of the Coronado National Forest and destroy much of a watershed that provides runoff to a rare, shallow Sonoran Desert aquifer beneath the federally-protected Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.


InvestigativeMedia Announces Online Digital Release of “Cyanide Beach”


Rimrock, AZ -InvestigativeMEDIA, LLC is pleased to announced that its documentary “Cyanide Beach” is now available for free public distribution.

“Help us make this video go viral as part of our effort to inform the public about the shady business background of the speculators who want to destroy the Santa Rita Mountains with a massive open-pit copper mine,” filmmaker John Dougherty said. [Read more…]

“Cyanide Beach” will be rebroadcast at 4 p.m. Sunday on KGUN Channel 9


If you missed the television premiere of Cyanide Beach on Sunday, there’s another chance to watch the ground-breaking documentary this Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m. on KGUN-Channel 9

The broadcast includes new material from the version released on Aug. 23 in Tucson and shown throughout southern Arizona theaters and community centers the last seven weeks.

The updated documentary includes information on Augusta Resource Corporation’s deceptive advertising campaign to promote the construction of the Rosemont copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest south of Tucson.

Be sure to check out Cyanide Beach at 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 21 on KGUN, Tucson’s ABC affiliate.

Read Dougherty’s column in Green Valley News on Augusta Resource executives’ history of deception


Augusta Resource Corp. CEO Gil Clausen’s Aug. 23 statement in response to InvestigativeMEDIA’s documentary “Cyanide Beach” is a clumsy attempt to deflect public attention from the truth (‘Cyanide Beach’: Rosemont responds,” Sept. 9. Page A7).

The facts are simple as they are ugly.

Read the rest of InvestigativeMEDIA founder John Dougherty’s September 15 column in the Green Valley News by clicking here.

Green Valley News on “Cyanide Beach”: “You should see it.”


Green Valley News editor Dan Shearer devotes his Sunday column to InvestigativeMEDIA’s documentary “Cyanide Beach” and states: “This documentary…does raise questions that Rosemont must address if it intends to move forward with integrity.”

“Cyanide Beach” will have two screenings on Monday, Sept. 17. The 24-minute documentary will be shown at 10 a.m. at the Tubac Community Center and at 6:30 p.m. at the Quail Creek Crystal Ballroom. The film will also be shown at 7 p.m., Sept. 29 in Patagonia at the Tin Shed. More screenings are being scheduled. Please see “events” for more information.

“Cyanide Beach” played to a packed house Sept. 5 and 6 at the Desert Sky Cinema in Sahuarita. More than 800 people have seen the documentary at two screenings in Tucson and two in Sahuarita.

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


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…]