Wildcat Silver Hermosa mine proposal. Saddle Mountain and San Rafael Valley in the background, Patagonia, AZ © Glen E Goodwin

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 consists of 154 acres of private, patented claims 6 miles southeast of the town of Patagonia, Arizona.

Additionally, Wildcat Silver has claimed approximately 13,500 acres of public land on the Coronado National Forest bordering around their Hermosa property and have plans for both an open pit mine and underground mine to extract silver and manganese. Read Wildcat Silver Hermosa Pre-Feasibility Report. See Hermosa open pit mine site plan and view map of claims.

The Board of Wildcat Silver and Management team share many of the same former members of the Augusta Resources Board of Directors and Management. Augusta was the parent company of Rosemont Copper until the takeover by HudBay. 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.

As the players are the same, we can expect the same sort of tactics from Wildcat Silver as we had witnessed from Augusta.  More information about those tactics can be found at Rosemont Mine Truth.

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 Mining Operations in Patagonia, Arizona


UPDATE 12/19/2014:  The release of the Hermosa Environmental Assessment (EA) and Draft Decision is estimated for July 2015, triggering a 45 day deadline for objections. If you commented on the Hermosa project, you will be able to participate in the objection process. Read USFS Schedule of Proposed Actions: (SOPA). Hermosa project start date is estimated for October 2015. That’s a full year behind the previous schedule.


10/28/2014: Press Release: Hermosa mine proposal could deplete southeast Arizona town’s drinking water aquiferPeer-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. Wildcat Silver does not have Forest Service approval for mineral drilling on public land.


4/23/2014: Thank you for everyone who submitted comments on the Hermosa Drilling Project Draft Environmental Assessment (EA)! The next step will be the likely release by the Forest Service of the Final Environmental Assessment and the Draft Decision.


The Hermosa draft EA is available online at the Forest Service project webpage: 

Link to USFS project webpage for Wildcat Silver’s Hermosa project

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 StatementTell 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) (2.67miles), use 10 overland vehicle paths (3.30miles), and 2 overland footpaths (1.51miles). These activities will result in a maximum total disturbance of approximately 13.90 acres in the Coronado National Forest.


The proposed Hermosa Drilling Project impact area encompasses 7350 acres in the 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.

Hermosa Drilling Project Map

46 site locations activities: 23 geotechnical boreholes, 10 exploration boreholes, 12 hydrogeologic boreholes/monitoring wells, and 16 excavated test pits.

Hermosa Exploration Proposal Location

Hermosa drilling proposal location encompasses 7350 acres.

Corral Canyon ©Caleb Weaver

One site of Hermosa Mineral Drilling Proposal: Corral Canyon in the Patagonia Mountains.


Wildcat Silver’s History in Patagonia, Arizona

Wildcat Silver mineral drilling operation

Wildcat Silver former mineral drilling operation on private land.

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


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!