South32's Hermosa Project Announces Key Community Engagement And Operational Milestones



June 19, 2024

Nominations for newly revised Community Advisory Panel now open

South32’s Hermosa project today announced a series of project developments that highlight the company’s commitment to investing in and partnering with the community to bolster project transparency and responsible development.

The announcement includes a call for nominations for the newly revised Community Advisory Panel (CAP) as South32 seeks engagement from a diverse mix of Santa Cruz County community voices to shape the next phase of the project’s development.

“Following the historic announcement earlier this year of South32’s record $2.16 billion investment in Southern Arizona to help deliver critical minerals important to our nation’s energy security, the Hermosa project is entering a new phase of its development,” said Pat Risner, President of South32 Hermosa.

“We are committed to understanding the community’s needs and concerns, so that together we can develop this project in ways that create job opportunities here at home in Santa Cruz County, improve people’s lives now and for generations to come, and increase the country’s domestic supply of minerals critical for the energy transition.”

Operational announcements include updates on our employee shuttle bus program launch, and construction progress.

Community Advisory Panel Outreach Begins

A new phase of the project also requires new perspectives. Santa Cruz County is a beacon of diversity, and the Hermosa project wants to engage all corners of the community in its development.

To achieve those ideals, the Hermosa project is kicking off a new round of nominations for participants to serve on the newly revised Community Advisory Panel.

Applications to join the Community Advisory Panel can be found here. Those interested have until July 3rd to apply for a position on the panel.

“Community engagement is a key cornerstone of how we design this next generation critical minerals project, and the feedback we receive directly informs our plans,” said Pat Risner, President of South32 Hermosa.

“After three years, our community advisory panel is evolving to better incorporate the experiences and voices of a wider net of Southern Arizona residents. We remain committed to an actively engaged community advisory panel that positively helps shape and inform the development of this project in a way that facilitates the generation of shared value.”

Established in 2021, South32 Hermosa and the project’s Community Advisory Panel members opted to find ways to better align the panel with future community needs at its latest May meeting after completing key milestones around community education, engagement, environment and feedback laid out in its original charter.

Applicant pools for the newly revised Community Advisory Panel will include former panel members who have expressed interest in serving as a member of the new panel. It will consist of 15 community members, assuring both a good mix of continuity and new perspectives that further expand the representation of local communities and groups across age, gender, socio-economic, and ethnic demographics, among other considerations.

Employee Shuttle Bus Program

South32 recently launched a bus transportation service for its employees and contractors in an effort to reduce fatigue and traffic congestion in Southern Arizona.

In less than two months of activity, the service has already removed 4,431 hours of driving time and eliminated 1,853 single car trips from Nogales, Patagonia, Vail, and Tucson to and from the Hermosa site, equalling approximately 161,570 miles.

The successful start of our employee busing program is a direct result of listening to the community, and it is already boosting safety and reducing traffic around the site.

Continuing Project Construction

Following the $2.16 billion investment decision, construction work continues on the infrastructure important to providing underground access to Hermosa’s zinc deposit, one of the world’s largest undeveloped resources of this federally designated critical mineral.

Hermosa’s underground mine design enables a project surface footprint of just 750 acres – a fraction of the footprint of other mining projects and a key example of South32’s commitment to sustainable development of the resources at the project site.

Work has advanced on both shafts with the continued construction of the headframes and hoisting facilities. Shaft sinking equipment has been installed in the shafts and work is advancing to begin sinking later this year.

That work has involved a continuous concrete pour to erect a 258-foot structure. Work on that structure – critical for shaft sinking – was completed earlier this week, ahead of schedule.

Drilling for groundwater management wells – important to allow safe access underground for construction and operations – has also been completed. Water management from those wells has not reached full operational capacity yet, although that milestone could occur as soon as the end of October.  Water released by the water treatment plant will meet or exceed state and federal quality standards.


About the South32 Hermosa project  

Located in a historic mining district in the Patagonia Mountains of Southern Arizona, South32’s Hermosa project is currently the only advanced mine development project in the United States that could produce two federally designated critical minerals — manganese and zinc — both of which are essential minerals for powering the nation’s clean energy future. Learn more at

Hermosa is a polymetallic development comprised of a zinc-lead-silver sulfide deposit, a battery-grade manganese deposit and an extensive, highly prospective land package with the potential for further polymetallic and copper mineralization.

Media relations

Lina Betancourt      
M +1 514-210-1822


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