Earthworks: Rosemont Copper and A Tale of Two Mines

Dec 18, 2012, 11:51 ET from Earthworks

TUCSON, Ariz., Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The same Canadian mining speculators who are now seeking government permits to build the Rosemont copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains near Tucson, Arizona, left behind a trail of unpaid vendors, a misspent government loan, hidden investors, and a toxic mess known to locals as "Cyanide Beach" after owning and operating an open-pit gold mine in Sardinia, Italy from 2003-07.

That is the cautionary tale told in Cyanide Beach, a revealing 24-minute video documentary created by award-winning investigative reporter John Dougherty that Green Valley (AZ) News Editor Dan Shearer said "raise(s) questions that Rosemont must address if it intends to move forward with integrity."

Vancouver, B.C.-based Augusta Resource Corporation owns the Rosemont Copper Company. The film chronicles the questionable business tactics of Augusta's top executives when they ran another Canadian junior mining company, Sargold Resource Corporation, which owned and operated the Sardinian mine.

Six of Sargold's directors are current or former Augusta Board members and are behind the Rosemont Copper Company's lobbying and PR campaign to win public support for blasting a mile-wide, half-mile deep hole in the Santa Rita Mountains and dumping 70-story high mountains of toxic mining waste on more than 3,000 acres of the Coronado National Forest.

"We already know that the Rosemont Mine would threaten the air and groundwater in and around Tucson with mercury, lead, arsenic and other poisons from its billions of tons of toxic mine waste," said Lauren Pagel, Earthworks' Policy Director. "That threat is magnified when we find out that the people behind Rosemont Copper have the business history laid out in this documentary."

Cyanide Beach is based on Dougherty's review of thousands of pages of financial documents involving Augusta's officers and his on-site interviews in Italy, the U.S. and Canada. Dougherty uncovers a tangled history of cease trade orders, an insider trading settlement agreement, an investment caution warning issued by Canadian regulators, stock exchange de-listings, personal and corporate bankruptcies, and false disclosure statements to regulators. The full details can be found at

Cyanide Beach reveals how these speculators conducted operations in Sardinia and raises questions of whether they now can be trusted to deliver on their promises to operate the Rosemont copper mine without depleting local water supplies, harming endangered wildlife, and polluting the surrounding environment. For more information, watch Cyanide Beach and visit

"Irresponsible mine proposals like Rosemont clearly demonstrate that we need to update the 1872 Mining Law," said Pagel. "A common sense mining law would allow the Forest Service to look at Augusta's backers' history, and decide not to trust them with our public lands." 

Mining loopholes in Clean Water Act
1872 Mining Law background

For More Information:
Alan Septoff
202.887.1872x105 - o
202.271.2355 - m

SOURCE Earthworks