Unreported spill of drilling mud at Rosemont Copper Water Well


Sometime before April 12, 2012, there was a hose failure at a Rosemont site (an isolated parcel, Tremont claim)* while drilling a monitor/production water well.

The clamps on a 4" hose broke, causing the release of drilling mud down a hillside into a nearby canyon on National Forest land. The amount of the discharge is unknown, but some hundreds of gallons. Enough that a vacuum truck and a brigade of 50 men with buckets worked all night to clean it up.

How toxic is drilling mud? There are many chemical formulas for drilling mud, depending on the conditions of the property. Samples would have to be analyzed, and there could also be residues from heavy metals.

Since the incident went unreported, there is no way to know how many days had passed until it was cleaned. The following photos show that residues were present on the site on April 12, 2012.

Photos of site on April 12, 2012:

Drilling mud has been cordoned off

Drill rig site



Close-up of Drilling Mud

Fresh bull-dozed berms

Well Information:

Site Description and Location: book number 305 map 66 parcel 0060;
Latitude 31 48 57.1 Longitude 110 45 31.4
Within Tucson AMA basin sub basin upper Santa Cruz watershed Santa Cruz River
Not within any AMA or INA in Pima County

Registration number 55 221319
Owner: Rosemont copper
W ell type: monitor and production (350 gal. per minute)
A pplication date February 15, 2012

Driller Information:

Arizona Beeman Drilling
15563 E. US Highway 60
Gold Canyon, Arizona 85118
Phone 480-983-2542
Driller license number 360


Beeman Drill Rig in place

Was this discarded hose the culprit?
To see close-up of 4" dia. hose, Click Here


Type of hose that failed

Present condition of well site—
cleaned up and moonscaped

*Spill on Tremont Claim:

Note that in early 2012 BLM resurveyed the region, moving the old claim boundaries (shown in red) east to include the well site and Helvetia Road (shown in orange). Well site is marked with concentric circles.

*Maps, information and documention on the Tremont Claim