South American Silver provides further update on Bolivia
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – July 4, 2012) – South American Silver Corp. (TSX:SAC)(PINKSHEETS:SOHAF) today provided a further update on recent events in Bolivia since the update on June 14th. Over the past few days Bolivian employees working for South American Silver's Bolivian subsidiary, Compañia Minera Malku Khota, individuals associated with the Company's drill service contractor and members of local indigenous communities which support the project have been detained illegally by a group of individuals protesting the company's Malku Khota project. Some of these individuals have already been released, but government authorities and the Company are seeking release of all detained individuals so that safe and constructive dialog with all communities in the project area can occur.
"Our first priority is the safety and security of our employees, contractors and all those in the local communities," said Greg Johnson, President and CEO of South American Silver. "We are working closely with the authorities from the provincial government of Potosi and national Bolivian agencies to constructively resolve the situation and to seek an approach to development that is inclusive of all communities in the project area including the small number that have been opposed to the project."
As confirmed earlier by Bolivian officials, a group of people carrying out illegal artisanal mining on exploration concessions owned by South American Silver has been encouraging confrontations between communities with support from outside groups and attempting to interfere with work on the project in recent weeks.
On Monday, July 2nd the Governor of Potosi and the Bolivian Mines Minister met with representatives from 5 of 6 local indigenous Ayllus, which are the elected leadership of these districts covering 46 land owning indigenous communities. This meeting was a continuation of process of seeking a resolution to the recent community conflict. The vast majority of the local indigenous communities living in the project area have signed multiple resolutions of support for the project and understand the potential social and economic benefits to their communities through the development of a world class, modern mine at the Malku Khota.
South American Silver has signed comprehensive support agreements with 5 of the 6 land owning indigenous local Ayllus, which cover these 46 indigenous communities. Of these 46 communities 3 do not recognize the support agreements along with their Ayllu leadership and artisanal mining activity has been centered in one these 3 communities. The 43 communities in the project area have been strong proponents of the exploration program and future mine development and have worked closely with the Company to develop programs for job training, education, livestock enhancement and water management for long-term sustainable development.
The Mines Minister has recently stated that there will be a period of constitutionally mandated consultation with the local indigenous communities in the project area before the extraction phase of the project begins, likely in 2014 or 2015. The Mines Minister has also expressed support for the view expressed by the five Ayllus who are inhabitants of the region and who want the company to continue the exploration work. This was also noted in an accord signed by the Government and the five Ayllus of the Malku Khota communities on May 28, 2012, that the company "shall continue its exploration activities".
In addition to the local communities, the provincial government of Potosi and the national government of Bolivia have shown their support for this project and to private investment generally in the country's mining sector the second most important economic driver after oil and gas.
About South American Silver Corp.
South American Silver Corp. is a growth focused mineral exploration company creating value through the exploration and development of the Malku Khota (100%) project in Bolivia, one of the world's largest undeveloped silver-indium-gallium deposits and the large scale Escalones (100%) copper-gold project in Chile. The Company's approach to business combines the team's track record of discovery and advancement of large projects, key operational and process expertise, and a focus on community relations and sustainable development to increase shareholder value. Management has extensive experience in the global exploration and mining industry with much of that focused in Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Argentina. The Company's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "SAC" and on the US OTC market as "SOHAF". Additional information related to South American Silver Corp. is available at www.soamsilver.com and on SEDAR atwww.sedar.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements which look into the future and to the effect of certain events on the business. Forward-looking statements may include words such as "will", "shall", "seek" and "continuing" and similar expressions. Statements regarding the ongoing efforts of illegal artisanal miners may also constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, factors and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors.
It is important to note that: Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements as the actual events may differ materially from any future events expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks, uncertainties or other factors affect the Company's business, or if the Company's assumptions prove inaccurate. Therefore, the Company cannot provide any assurance that forward-looking statements will materialize. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those contained in forward looking statements, there may be other factors that cause events to be materially different from those planned or expected. Factors that could cause events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, changes in the support for the Company by the Bolivian government; changes in the attitudes among local indigenous communities; changes in the political and economic climate in Bolivia; changes in the regulatory environment in Bolivia; and other risks of the mining industry. The assumptions made in developing the forward-looking statements include: continuing support for the Company by the Bolivian national government, by the provincial governor of Potosi and by the local indigenous communities that have signed comprehensive agreements supporting the project and the adoption of a Mining Law consistent with the current draft Mining Law.
Subject to applicable laws, the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason.
Unless otherwise indicated, forward-looking statements in this release describe the Company's expectations as of July 4, 2012.
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