Free YouTube video from Phoenix investigative reporter/former U.S. Senate 2010 Democratic primary candidate John Dougherty and
P.O. Box 644
Tempe, AZ 85280
The 25-minute film chronicles how 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.
Since its Aug. 23 debut at the Crossroads Theater in Tucson, Cyanide Beach has been shown more than a dozen times to audiences in Tucson, Green Valley, Tubac, Patagonia, Vail and Phoenix. Green Valley (AZ) News Editor Dan Shearer said the film “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 documents the deceptive 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 former directors have, or are now playing, a leading role in Rosemont Copper Company’s free-spending 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.
Earthworks, a Washington, D.C. watchdog group that tracks mining on America’s public lands, is assisting InvestigativeMEDIA in releasing Cyanide Beach nationally.
“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 such a checkered business history.”
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 the Rosemont’s Power Play tab at www.investigativemedia.com.
The six current and former Augusta directors who also served on the Sargold board include its Chairman Richard Warke and its President and CEO Gil Clausen, along with directors Robert P. Wares and Christopher M. H. Jennings. Former Augusta directors Donald Clark and Michael A. Steeves also served on the Sargold board.
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, or polluting the surrounding environment. Their actions in Sardinia include:
Failing to pay local contractors, forcing vendors to obtain court judgments;
Misspending a $787,000 Sardinian government loan that was supposed to be used to develop an underground mine;
Issuing misleading press releases to investors, including a release that overstated gold reserves in Sardinia forcing the Toronto Venture Stock Exchange to require the company to retract the projection;
Failing to disclose that a Cayman Islands hedge fund controlled more than 10 percent of Sargold’s stock between 2005 and 2007;
Using its obligation to implement environmental restoration of the Sardinian gold mine as leverage with Sardinian government officials in a failed attempt to gain gold mining rights elsewhere; and
Failing to disclose Mr. Warke’s personal bankruptcy in regulatory filings between 2003 and 2005.
Sargold’s conduct in Sardinia left a lasting impression on its former business partners.
When asked if Richard Warke, Sargold’s point man on the Sardinia project, was a man of his word, Franco Cherchi, a former president of Sargold’s Gold Mines of Sardinia subsidiary, said “When it’s no longer convenient for him, he withdraws the promise.”
I watched this 25 minute video and it is disturbing, and does raise serious questions about Augusta Resources and the proposed Rosemont Mine in Southern AZ. For more info: http://www.investigativemedia.com/special-reports-rosemonts-power-play/