DENVER, April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Augusta Resource Corporation (TSX: AZC) (NYSE Amex: AZC) ("Augusta" or "the Company") is pleased to announce that the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality ("ADEQ") has issued the Aquifer Protection Permit ("APP") for its Rosemont Copper project ("Rosemont"). The APP establishes the operating standards and controls to ensure the protection of ground water and is effective for the life of the mine.
Rosemont has now received six major permits required to commence construction. Other major permits include the Air Quality Permit and the Clean Water Act Section 404 Permit, which the Company expects to receive later in the second quarter or in the third quarter of 2012 as well as the Record of Decision ("ROD") on the Plan of Operations from the U.S. Forest Service ("USFS").
Rod Pace, Augusta's Chief Operating Officer, commented, "Obtaining the Aquifer Protection Permit for Rosemont is a major permitting milestone that clearly shows that our project stands up to thorough and intense scrutiny. This achievement puts us one major step closer to completing the permitting process and starting construction on this 21 st Century mining project that will create 2,900 new jobs in Arizona and have annual economic impact of over $1 billion to the U.S. economy."
The USFS also provided a Rosemont Copper Project update stating that over 25,000 comments were submitted on the draft Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") and all substantive comments have been identified, coded and organized. The USFS is now drafting a document responding to the comments. The responses will also be reflected in the final EIS and appended to the document. Final impact mitigations are currently being determined according to Federal and State guidelines and will be included in the EIS. The Company has no change to its previous guidance with respect to the issuance of the final EIS and ROD from the USFS.