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The takeover battle for the Canadian company that owns the Rosemont Mine site hits a climactic moment in Vancouver, B.C. today (Tuesday, April 29).
Officials of Augusta Resource Corp. and Hudbay Minerals Inc. will argue over whether the British Columbian government should put a halt to a shareholders rights plan that Augusta approved a year ago in an effort to make it easier for the company to fend off a hostile takeover offer. The discussion will come at a public hearing of the British Columbia Securities Commission, which regulates the trading of stock owned by B.C.-based companies such as Augusta.
The meeting comes only three days before Augusta shareholders are scheduled to discuss whether to extend the rights plan, which was created in part to try to head off a Hudbay takeover effort -- which Hudbay launched in February of this year anyway. It comes a week before Hudbay's takeover offer is scheduled to expire on May 5.
For those interested in the outcome of the proposed Rosemont Mine in the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson, the takeover struggle has several potential implications:
-- As Hudbay officials see it, the takeover would be a big boost to the Rosemont project's long-term prospects, because it is better heeled financially than Augusta Resource and can better withstand a prolonged permitting struggle over the mine. Hudbay has repeatedly questioned Augusta's statements that it expects to have federal permitting of the mine finished by the end of June 2014. In fact, in its proposal to the B.C. securities body, it attached a graphic saying that Augusta has now pushed back the date at which it expects to get all needed permits 11 times since its seven year push to get the mine approved began in 2007.
-- For its part, Augusta officials