Center for Biological Diversity

For Immediate Release, February 29, 2016

Contact: Randy Serraglio, (520) 784-1504,

Construction of Controversial Rosemont Copper Mine Delayed Indefinitely

TUCSON, Ariz.— Hudbay Minerals Inc. has announced a construction delay for its proposed Rosemont Copper Mine in the Santa Rita mountains near Tucson. With the global copper industry in free-fall and copper prices at historic lows, company officials could not establish a timetable for the controversial project. A number of permits remain outstanding for Rosemont, which has generated vigorous opposition from local communities in southern Arizona and threatens harm to a dozen imperiled species, including America’s only known wild jaguar, known as El Jefe.

“After years of misleading its investors with rosy projections for this project, the company has finally admitted the mine won’t be built anytime soon,” said Randy Serraglio, a conservation advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity. “But the truth is that this project should never be built. The tremendous damage that the Rosemont Mine threatens to our air, water, wildlife and beautiful landscapes is simply too great, no matter how hard the company tries to obscure it.”

The Rosemont project would blast a mile-wide, 3,000-foot-deep open pit in the heart of the home territory of the beloved jaguar El Jefe and destroy thousands of acres of the public land where he roams with 800-foot-high piles of toxic mine waste.

“El Jefe should not have to sacrifice his future for a pile of copper,” said Serraglio. “Mining companies all over the world are cutting billions of dollars from their operating costs, laying off tens of thousands of workers and stockpiling massive amounts of unsold copper. There’s simply no justification for this incredibly destructive mine.”

“It’s high time that our federal agencies acknowledge the writing on the wall and deny the permits needed to construct this mine,” said Serraglio. “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Coronado National Forest and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers all have ample scientific and legal basis to stop this atrocity from blighting our land. We already have copper mines all over Arizona, and we’ve got the polluted air, contaminated water, and ghost towns to prove it. But we only have one jaguar. His home should be protected.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 990,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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