Lawsuit targets Adventus and Salazar’s Ecuador project permit

El Domo – Curipamba project. (Image courtesy of Adventus Mining.)

Adventus Mining (TSX-V: ADZN) and Salazar Resources (TSX-V: SRL) are facing headwinds in Ecuador as a group of locals has requested that a provincial judge cancel the environmental permit for the Canadian miners’ Curipamba-El Domo copper-gold project.

The injunction, submitted last week, is against Ecuador’s environment ministry, who did not carry out consultations in Buenos Aires and Bellavista. The authority told BNAmericas these rural communities were not included because they are considered to be outside the area of influence of the mine concession. 

The consultation in question culminated in December last year, with the two miners obtaining the environmental license for construction and operation of Curipamba-El Domo project in January.

As reparation measures, the group is demanding the revocation of the ministry’s approval of the environmental impact study and the environmental license, both crucial for beginning construction of the $293 million mine.

Opponents of mining activities in Ecuador frequently file lawsuits and injunctions, particularly in local courts, to halt projects.

According to the country’s Chamber of Mining, opposition to extractive activities is blocking nearly $1 billion in potential investment and 100 projects.

A judge in Cotopaxi province accepted in March a lawsuit regarding the environmental consultation process for Atico Mining’s (TSX-V: ATY) La Plata polymetallic project. The judge ordered the provisional suspension of the information phase of the consultation. 

A few days later, the company secured a multi-million dollar investment from the Ecuadorian government in an agreement that laid the foundational groundwork for developing the gold project.

Popular referendums are a necessary step for any company to obtain a mining license in Ecuador. Without them, firms would have to wait longer than expected to have all permits in place before starting construction of a mine.

Once built, Curipamba-El Domo will be the third operating mine considered key by Ecuador’s government. To date, the country’s only two producing assets are the Mirador copper mine, run by China-backed Ecuacorriente and Lundin Gold’s (TSX: LUG) Fruta del Norte gold mine.

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