2011 Patagonia News

Local, State, and National News that affects the Patagonia, Arizona Area

Click on the headline to go to the news story.

2011, 2010 and Earlier Patagonia News Archives


Hardshell exploratory drilling threatens endangered wildlife on Coronado National Forest

A coalition of conservation groups has gone to court seeking a timeout on construction of the Hardshell Project on the Coronado National Forest in southern Arizona today. The groups are challenging the U.S. Forest Service for approving exploratory mineral drilling for a planned 3,000-acre mine without required studies of how it will impact endangered wildlife and the environment. Defenders, SIA, PARA Watchdogs Press Release 12/22/2011


USFS says it will provide town with answers

The Town of Patagonia is expecting a letter any day now from the Coronado National Forest Service explaining who it was that conducted a watershed analysis for the Hardshell Mineral Exploration Project and determined that there were no watersheds present in the affected area. Weekly Bulletin 11/30/2011


Proposed road limits spur mixed reactions

With over 50 people packed into the Town Hall meeting room, the Patagonia Planning and Zoning Committee heard a wide array of opinions on Monday night as to whether to impose road limitations on trucks utilizing town roads.
Weekly Bulletin 11/16/2011


Town eyes new road restrictions as mining interest increases

With yet another mining company looking to drill in its backyard, the Town of Patagonia’s Planning and Zoning Committee will host a public forum to discuss possible road restrictions on heavy vehicles – including mining trucks.
Nogales International 11/11/2011


Patagonia preps for possible mining

People in the town of Patagonia are worried over the idea that mining companies are showing an interest in the copper and silver deposits in the nearby mountain ranges. David Teel, the town manager, says the companies, from Australia and Canada, are in the exploratory phase with low impact drilling. But Teel and Mayor Ike Isakson are worried about the town’s water supply and its roads. Teel said Patagonia’s population is 913 and a has a small town feel, “Patagonia is a tourist oriented, pedestrian, walkable town.” KVOA 11/10/2011


Rosemont Affiliate wants to find silver near Patagonia

A company with ties to Rosemont Copper is likely to start conducting exploratory drilling on federal land outside Patagonia by the end of the year now that the Forest Service has approved its plans. Arizona Minerals Inc., a subsidiary of Wildcat Silver Corp. of Vancouver, British Columbia, which shares some board members and an address with Rosemont parent Augusta Resource Corp., can drill 15 test holes up to 2,000 feet deep for 11 months for the Hermosa mine, formerly known as the Hardshell mine.
Arizona Daily Star 11/5/2011


Nat’l Forest approves mining exploration proposal

Despite opposition from the Town of Patagonia, the Coronado National Forest has given Wildcat Silver the go-ahead to conduct exploratory drilling on public lands in the Patagonia Mountains. Weekly Bulletin 11/2/2011


Patagonia moves to protect its water

As the stakes increase Wildcat Silver Corporation, a Canadian-based mining company with interests in the Patagonia Mountains, is paying close attention to efforts by the Town of Patagonia to protect itself from potential mining operations.
Weekly Bulletin 9/7/2011


Maynard expresses doubts about mining plans

District 3 Supervisor John Maynard paid a visit to the Patagonia Town Hall on Aug. 18, where he gave a presentation on taxation and voiced skepticism that the economic benefits of proposed mining projects in the area will outweigh their negative impacts. Weekly Bulletin 8/31/2011


Australian firm looks to drill near Patagonia

Another mining company has its eye on the mineral wealth of the Patagonia Mountains. The Coronado National Forest has recently sent out a scoping notice that indicates it is considering a new request by a multinational mining firm to conduct an exploratory operation 10 miles south of Patagonia. Weekly Bulletin 8/24/2011


Let’s explore all of our options

Growing up in Santa Cruz County, I’ve seen progress move at a snail’s pace. At the extremes there are those who welcome change – namely new business, commercial and trade opportunities – at the expense of all else. Others are resistant and would like to see our community maintain its rural charm and preserve our abundant natural beauty at the expense of all else. Still others sit around yearning for the past.
Weekly Bulletin 8/24/2011


Ex-county manager hired by mining firm

Nearly a year after being fired as Santa Cruz County manager, Greg Lucero has accepted a job with Wildcat Silver Corporation, a Canadian-based mining company that is seeking to construct an open-pit mine near Patagonia.
Weekly Bulletin 7/27/2011


County joins town, calls for environmental review of drilling plan

In a show of support for the Town of Patagonia, the County Board of Supervisors voted last week to ask the Coronado National Forest to require a mining company to complete an environmental assessment before it can begin exploratory drilling on National Forest land on the town’s east side. Weekly Bulletin 6/15/2011


In letter to Wildcat Co., town blasts drilling plan

The Town of Patagonia has voiced its opposition to a proposal by Canadian mining company Wildcat Silver Corporation to conduct exploratory drilling in the nearby Coronado National Forest. Weekly Bulletin 6/8/2011


Hikers, mountain bikers, climbers boost economy

Hikers, mountain bikers and climbers boost not only their fitness but Arizona’s economy as well, says a new study by economists. The study found that “human-powered” outdoor recreation produces $5.3 billion in annual retail sales and generates nearly $371 million in state tax revenues. Arizona Daily Star 5/31/2011


Wildcat looking to move drilling onto National Forest

Members of the public now have additional time to weigh in on a proposal by Canadian mining company Wildcat Silver Corporation to conduct exploratory drilling on the Coronado National Forest after the public comment period was extended from May 27 to June 9. Weekly Bulletin 5/11/2011


Wildfire burns more than 400 acres near mining operation east of Patagonia

A wildfire burned more than 400 acres east of Patagonia on Friday afternoon threatening structures and forcing the evacuation of crews working for a mining company. Weekly Bulletin 5/11/2011


Forum is lesson on opposition

What began as a public forum to provide information about the mining process soon became an intense discussion about how to stop the Hardshell Mine, a proposed open-pit and underground silver and manganese operation that would be located just east of Patagonia along Harshaw Road. Weekly Bulletin 2/23/2011




USFS to seal leaky World’s Fair Mine

A contractor for the U.S. Forest Service will seal an old mine near Patagonia that has been leaking highly acidic water for decades. The main contractor will install two watertight plugs in the horizontal tunnel leading into the World’s Fair Mine in the Coronado National Forest, according to a news release from Coronado National Forest spokeswoman Heidi Schewel. The plan calls for the plugs to be placed approximately 150 feet and 400 feet from the portal leading into the mine. Weekly Bulletin 12/7/2010


Trucks, water, and jobs at issue with silver mine

“We’re going to fight this tooth and nail if it’s going to destroy our homes,” said Patagonia resident Odell Borg during a Nov. 17 meeting held by Wildcat Silver Corporation to discuss plans for a mine in the area. Weekly Bulletin 11/23/2010


Energetic Views

Some Sonoita residents fight a power line—and lingering suspicions. Tucson Weekly 9/10/2010


Who foots the bill?

Recently, Chris Jones, CEO of Wildcat Silver, a Canadian mining company, held two meetings with local business owners to present Wildcat’s plan for a proposed silver and manganese mine at Hardshell in the Patagonia Mountains. Jones stated that he hoped the mine would be permitted and ready to start in three years. Is this mine the reason that Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative (SSVEC) has been so eager to put in its 69kV line? Weekly Bulletin 6/15/2010




State reaches deal with Asarco to clean mining properties

Arizona has reached a $30 million agreement with Asarco to clean up three mining properties and to transfer four miles of the San Pedro River to the state Land Department as part of the settlement. Nogales International 5/26/2009




Rangers queried about recent mining activity

During a community meeting held March 13 at the Patagonia Town Hall, Coronado National Forest Service representatives fielded questions about four separate mining operations in the area while attempting to convince locals that they had done everything to inform the public about activity at those sites. Weekly Bulletin 3/20/2007




A Meeting of the Mines

Folks living in and around Patagonia may have already noticed postings from the Coronado National Forest Service listing information and requesting public comment on the Final Report of the Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis (EECA) for the Alum Gulch-Flux Canyon Watershed Mines site. Weekly Bulletin 5/30/2006