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|Traded as||TSX: HBM
|Founded||1996 (as Pan American Resources Inc.)
1927 (as Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Company, Limited)
|Headquarters||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Subsidiaries||Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Limited|
HudBay Minerals Inc. is a Canadian mining corporation. Founded as Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting Co., Limited (HBMS), it has been exploring and mining in Manitoba for over 80 years. Much of its history has centered around Flin Flon, Manitoba. HudBay Minerals now has operations in Manitoba, Peru, and Yukon.
Hudson Bay Mining & Smelting
The Flin Flon orebody was discovered by David Collins, a local trapper, and shown to Tom Creighton, a prospector, in 1914. The first claim was registered in 1915. It took more than a dozen years to bring the mine into production because the ore body was huge, of low grade, required lots of hydro energy, was isolated and needed a smelter.
In 1927, the Whitney family of New York created HBM&S, which took over controlling interest in the Flin Flon property. By 1930, the mine, smelter, hydroelectric dam and railroad were in full operation.
On December 21, 2004, HudBay Minerals (HudBay) acquired Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting (HBMS) for C$316 million from Anglo American plc. The purchase was financed by a public offering of C$143.8 million of equity and the issue of US$175 million of debt.
Pan American acquired all of Ontzinc Corporation on March 12, 2002. Subsequently the company renamed itself OntZinc Corporation on August 15, 2002. Upon acquisition of Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting Co., Limited, the company renamed itself HudBay Minerals Inc. on December 24, 2004.
On August 26, 2008, HudBay Minerals Inc. announced the completion of a business combination with Skye Resources Inc. Skye Resources was renamed HMI Nickel, and was a subsidiary of HudBay Minerals until HudBay divested of the project through the sale of its interest in CGN to the Solway Group in September 2011.
In November, HudBay Minerals Inc. and Lundin Mining Corporation announced an agreement to combine their resources and create a new major Canadian leader in global mining, however in February of 2009, after a ruling by Ontario Securities Commission that HudBay must allow its shareholders to vote on the plan, the companies announced that the deal had been terminated.
On January 9, 2009, Hudbay Minerals announced suspended operations (and continue on care and maintenance) at Chisel North Mine in Snow Lake, Manitoba. The mine stopped producing in late February 2009, due to falling zinc metal prices and increased costs, and re-started operations in 2010.
HBMS now operates three underground mines in the province of Manitoba. Trout Lake Mine and the more recent 777 Mine are located near Flin Flon and Chisel North Mine is located near Snow Lake. The two mines at Flin Flon produce zinc and copper along with smaller values of gold and silver. Chisel North Mine produces a mid- to high-grade zinc ore at a smaller production rate using a variation to the room and pillar method.
New high-grade gold values have been found at the LALOR lake along with high grades of zinc, and there may also be a high-grade copper zone also.
Controversy surrounding HudBay Minerals' former Guatemalan operations
The Fenix ferro-nickel project in Guatemala is owned by Compañía Guatemalteca de Niquel (CGN), which was 98.2% owned by HudBay Minerals from August 2008 to September 2011. The Fenix Project in eastern Guatemala is a substantial brownfield nickel laterite mine and process plant that has been on care and maintenance since 1980. HudBay Minerals had estimated that it will cost $1 billion to restart the mine and processing operation.
HudBay Minerals and two of its subsidiaries are subject to an ongoing $12 million lawsuit in Canada over the killing of a prominent Mayan community leader at the Fenix Mining Project. The lawsuit alleges that on September 27, 2009, security personnel employed at the Fenix mine surrounded, beat and hacked at Adolfo Ich Chamán with machetes before shooting him in the head at close range in an unprovoked attack. An arrest warrant was issued for the Head of Security at the Fenix mine, Mynor Ronaldo Padilla Gonzáles. A non-governmental organization has referred to the murder as the “targeted killing of a well-known community leader.”  Amnesty International has stated with respect to the murder allegation “[t]he allegations are very serious, and Amnesty International calls for a swift, full and impartial investigation into the death of Adolfo Ich Chamán and other incidents of violence, to make the results public and to bring those responsible to justice”.
HudBay states that it and CGN have cooperated fully with all investigations conducted by Guatemalan authorities in connection with the incidents which occurred on September 27, 2009, in El Estor. CGN carried out an internal investigation and determined that none of its employees or security personnel were involved in the death of Chamán.
In June of 2013, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the Canadian company could be held legally responsible for crimes committed in Guatemala, including the alleged murder of Adolfo Ich Chamán and the alleged sexual assault of 11 women from Lote Ocho. A jury notice was filed in December of 2013.
The Fenix mining project is also subject to ongoing land claims by local Mayan communities. In 2006, the International Labour Organization, an agency of the United Nations, ruled that Guatemala had breached international law by granting the Fenix mining concession without first consulting with local Mayan people. The ILO released a report discussing the violation in 2007.
In late 2006 and early 2007, Skye Resources (acquired by HudBay Minerals in 2008, renamed HMI Nickel and subsequently sold by HudBay in 2011) sought forced evictions of Mayan communities located on contested mine land. Homes were burned to the ground during these evictions.
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