Wildcat Silver: Hermosa
Wildcat Silver (TSX:WS) is a junior mining company based in Vancouver, Canada. Wildcat Silver operates in Arizona under their subsidiary Arizona Minerals, Inc. Their Hermosa Property is 154 acres of private property comprised of patented mine claims 6 miles southeast of the town of Patagonia, Arizona.
Additionally, Wildcat Silver has claimed approximately 13,500 acres of public land in the Patagonia Mountains on the Coronado National Forest bordering their Hermosa property with plans for both an open pit mine and underground mine. The Hermosa Central project is a proposed 4,000-foot wide and 1,500-foot deep open pit mine for silver and manganese. Hermosa Northwest (Hermosa NW) is a proposed underground mine for zinc, lead and silver. Read Wildcat Silver Hermosa Pre-Feasibility Report. See Hermosa open pit mine site plan and view map of mining claims.
The Patagonia Area Resource Alliance recognizes that the health and economic prosperity of our community of Patagonia is tied deeply to the well-being of the Patagonia Mountains and Harshaw/Sonoita Creek waterways. They are the source of our water, clean air and the biological wealth drives our local economy. The PARA mission is to stop new mining in the Patagonia Mountains.
Click for a list of Federally Threatened, Endangered and Sensitive Species in the Patagonia Mountains of the Coronado National Forest in southern Arizona.
Current Status of Wildcat Silver Mining Activity in Patagonia, Arizona
UPDATE 4/1/2015: The release of the Hermosa Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Decision is estimated for October 2015, triggering a 45 day deadline for objections. If you commented on the Hermosa exploratory mineral drilling project, you will be able to participate in the objection process. If no objections are received, the Hermosa Final Decision is estimated for November 2015. Go to Forest Service Hermosa Project webpage.
10/28/2014: Press Release: Hermosa mine proposal could deplete southeast Arizona town’s drinking water aquifer. Peer-reviewed report by PARA and EARTHWORKS outlines Hermosa mine’s risks of water consumption, perpetual water pollution to Patagonia area.
8/13/2014: Wildcat Silver is reporting to its investors the discovery of a new mineral deposit on their patented mining claims. As a result, they are drilling 4-5 more exploratory holes on their privately owned land, funded by Director Richard Warke. Wildcat Silver does not have Forest Service approval for mineral drilling on public land.
Hermosa mineral exploration proposal draft Environmental Assessment (EA) is available online at the Forest Service project webpage:
PARA Project Summary: Hermosa Mining Proposal by Wildcat Silver / Arizona Minerals, Inc.
Read report from Comment Workshop on Draft EA of Wildcat Silver Hermosa Mining Exploration at Cady Hall in Patagonia, AZ. PARA, Jenny Neeley and Sergio Avila from Sky Island Alliance teamed up again to host a workshop on the potential issues around the Forest Service’s Draft Environmental Assessment of the Wildcat Silver Hermosa mining exploration proposal and how to comment effectively on it. Anyone can comment.
Sign Petition to Forest Service calling for a full Environmental Impact Statement. Tell the Coronado National Forest that an EA is insufficient and a full Environmental Impact Statement is necessary when considering the proposed Hermosa mineral drilling exploration project. Sign Petition here.
From the 2014 Draft EA: “The mineral exploration activities proposed in the Plan of Operations for the Hermosa Drilling Project include drilling 23 geotechnical boreholes, 10 exploration boreholes, 12 hydrogeologic boreholes/monitoring wells, and excavating 16 test pits. These activities would be conducted on 46 proposed characterization sites, 11 of which would host multiple activities (co located exploration activities).
Access to the 46 characterization sites would be from existing National Forest Service roads (some requiring maintenance and a minor amount of reconstruction), construction of 8 temporary access roads (TAR) (2.67 miles), use 10 overland vehicle paths (3.30 miles), and 2 overland footpaths (1.51 miles). These activities will result in a maximum total disturbance of approximately 13.90 acres in the Coronado National Forest.“
Hermosa Mineral Exploration Drilling Proposal has impact area of 7350 acres in Patagonia Mountains.
The areas that will be directly impacted in the Patagonia Mountains include Hermosa Canyon, Harshaw Creek, Corral Canyon, Willow Spring Canyon, Goldbaum Canyon and Corral Canyon.
Wildcat Silver’s History in Patagonia, Arizona
Wildcat Silver has had an active exploratory drilling program on their private land holdings for the Hermosa project since 2006. In March, 2011 they filed a Plan of Operations to extend their drilling program from their private land onto their bordering claims on public US Forest Land. Link to NEPA Scoping Notice from April 2011. The US Forest Service granted approval of the drilling project through a Decision Memo dated 10/18/2011.
In response to the Forest Service Decision Memo, the Patagonia Area Resource Alliance joined together with Defenders of Wildlife and Sky Island Alliance. We went to court in December 2011 to seek a timeout on construction of Wildcat Silver’s Drilling Exploration Project on the Coronado National Forest in southern Arizona. We challenged the U.S. Forest Service for approving exploratory mineral drilling without required studies of how it will impact endangered wildlife and the environment. View the press release regarding the lawsuit.
The Forest Service officially withdrew its approval of Wildcat Silver’s 15-hole exploratory plan on April 27th, 2012. We dismissed our case because the decision we challenged was vacated. That sent Wildcat Silver back to the drawing board. View Forest Service Withdrawal of Decision Memo
At The Helm
Wildcat Silver was founded by Richard Warke, the same founder of Augusta Resource / Rosemont Copper in the nearby Santa Rita Mountains. In July 2014, Hudbay acquired control of Augusta Resource Corporation and its wholly owned Rosemont Copper mine proposal.
Warke and Augusta’s acceptance of HudBay’s takeover exposes the repeated promises that Augusta was committed to the region as as nothing more than a deceptive public relations campaign.
With Warke at the helm, we can expect the same sort of tactics from Wildcat Silver as witnessed from Augusta and his other mining companies. See: “A Sardinian gold mine unearths the deceptive business tactics of Rosemont Copper’s top executives,” by InvestigativeMEDIA.
We will keep you informed of any developments of this project on this page, in our News Section, and with our e-newsletter. Use the online Contact Form to subscribe to our e-newsletter. Also, keep an eye on our Events page.
What is a Plan of Operation and What’s a Scoping Notice?
Check out our NEPA Resources page here. NEPA is the National Environmental Policy Act and is the environmental review process by which all federal agencies must comply for federal actions that could have environmental effects.
Having your voice heard…
“The environmental review process under NEPA provides an opportunity for you to be involved in the Federal agency decisionmaking process. It will help you understand what the Federal agency is proposing, to offer your thoughts on alternative ways for the agency to accomplish what it is proposing, and to offer your comments on the agency’s analysis of the environmental effects of the proposed action and possible mitigation of potential harmful effects of such actions. NEPA requires Federal agencies to consider environmental effects that include, among others, impacts on social, cultural, and economic resources, as well as natural resources. Citizens often have valuable information about places and resources that they value and the potential environmental, social, and economic effects that proposed federal actions may have on those places and resources. NEPA’s requirements provide you the means to work with the agencies so they can take your information into account.” From the Citizens Guide to NEPA
What do all those acronyms mean??? Check out our handy Glossary of Terms!