District Court rejects appeal on Rosemont Copper project
Hudbay Minerals was delivered a second set back by a U.S. District Court on Oct. 12 when Jude James Soto an appeal to revisit an earlier court ruling that barred the company from building its Rosement Copper project near Tucson, AZ.
Reuters reported that Soto ruled that there was no basis to reconsider an earlier ruling that overturned approvals for the company’s plans for the stalled $1.9 billion openpit mine.
Hudbay’s director of investor relations, Candace Brule, said the company was disappointed with the decision and would proceed with an appeal as it studies next steps for the project.
“This ruling confirms that the court continues to misinterpret decades of precedent and the federal regulations and mining laws that govern the Rosemont project,” she said.
In his previous ruling, Soto blocked the mine based on the validity of mining claims that would allow the company to dispose of mine waste on public lands adjacent to its operations.
That ruling overturned a previous approval of the proposed mine plan by the U.S. Forest Service.
Soto said in his decision that the U.S. Forest Service “abdicated its duty to protect the Coronado National Forest” when it failed to consider whether Hudbay Minerals held valid unpatented mining claims on 2,447 acres that would be used to place waste rock and tailings. (ME, Aug. 1)
Hudbay in August said it would appeal that ruling but it first asked the court to reconsider the decision on grounds it overstepped its authority.
However, Soto said there was no basis to reopen the case, according to a copy of the decision seen by Reuters. “Mere disagreement with a previous order is an insufficient basis for reconsideration,” the judge wrote.
Hudbay had planned to start construction of Rosemont by the end of this year, with first production expected by the end of 2022.