An auditor for Rosemont Copper’s parent company has put up what outside experts call a red flag indicating significant financial issues that could jeopardize the company’s future.

Officials of the accounting firm Ernst & Young wrote last week that they have “substantial doubt” about Augusta Resource Corp.’s ability to continue as a going concern. That’s due to a $9.72 million loss in 2012 and the likelihood that Augusta will need to spend more money on the proposed $1.2 billion Rosemont Mine this year than it has in working capital, they said. The warning appeared in Augusta’s year-end financial report for 2012.

Augusta officials say they continue to have confidence in their ability to raise capital and have no qualms about the company’s future. Such statements are common for mining companies in the development stage, she said.

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