PARA News Release

On September 3, 2021 an appeal was filed with AZ Department of Environmental Quality with respect to the issuance of an Aquifer Protection Permit (APP) to Arizona Minerals, Inc. for its Hermosa Project. ADEQ required AZ Minerals Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of South32, to receive an APP Permit in order to continue with their massive dewatering project in the Patagonia Mountains. 

The Appellants are Patagonia Area Resource Alliance, Defenders of Wildlife, AZ Mining Reform Coalition, Borderlands Restoration Network, Center for Biological Diversity, Earthworks, Friends of Santa Cruz River, Friends of Sonoita Creek, Save the Scenic Santa Ritas, Sky Island Alliance, and Tucson Audubon. 

South32’s dewatering plan includes dumping 6.4 millions gallons of water per day into Harshaw Creek for up to five years. The Permit Appeal included the following requests:

• A full hydrologic study on the effect of the Hermosa Mine related discharge to Harshaw Creek on downstream drinking water aquifers must be conducted. 

• Points of Compliance for waterlevels and quality be constructed in advance of any mine dewatering activity. 

• A system of early warning Points of Compliance for water levels and quality with minimum monthly monitoring.

• Baseline data must be collected for a minimum of one full year prior to any large water discharge. 

• Background data on stream sediments in lower Harshaw Creek must be collected in advance of any major water discharge. 

• All compliance monitoring and background data collected must be released to the public. 

PLEASE learn more by visiting PARA’s website at for additional information on the APP Appeal, as well as comments filed by many organizations with the US Forest Service on South32’s request to purchase 13.74 acres of our public lands.