Arizona Pollutant and Discharge and Elimination System (AZPDES) Permit
We submitted an application for renewal of our existing AZPDES permit in July 2022, as required by the regulatory agency, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) every five years. The public comment period was open from November 8, 2022, through December 14, 2022. ADEQ is reviewing the permit, which currently authorizes discharge of up to 0.172 million gallons per day (mgd) of treated mine drainage water, stormwater, and tailings seepage from Hermosa Project Water Treatment Plant 1 (WTP1) to Alum Gulch and up to 6.48 mgd of treated mine drainage water, tailings seepage, groundwater, core cutting water, drilling water, and stormwater from the Hermosa Project Water Treatment Plant 2 (WTP2) to Harshaw Creek. Documents related to this permit are available online here.
Small Tracts Act Application
South32 has submitted a Small Tracts Act (STA) application to the US Forest Service (USFS) for just under 14 acres of Coronado National Forest Service Land that would connect three of our privately owned land parcels at the Hermosa Project to make one contiguous figure— simplifying our logistics, land access, and road agreements. The agency’s public communications regarding the application can be viewed here.
Plan of Operations: Flux Canyon Exploration Drilling
South32 is proposing limited exploration drilling on a small area of our Hermosa project unpatented mining claims, to which we own mineral rights, in the Coronado National Forest near the historic Flux Mine. This is not an extension of our two major mineral deposits, Taylor and Clark. As required of any mining company proposing mineral exploration on US Forest Service lands, we submitted an exploration plan of operations to the US Forest Service (USFS) showing that the total duration of activity would be less than 12 months, including reclamation of the drilling area. On May 30, 2023, the USFS signed a Decision Memo stating that all required analysis was completed for the project. The agency’s public communications regarding the plan, including any associated public scoping, can be viewed here.
Aquifer Protection Permit
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has approved our 2020 request for a modification to our current Aquifer Protection Permit. The agency’s official communications leading up to the permit modification can be viewed here.