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SolGold’s projects safe as Ecuador reaches deal with indigenous groups

The Cascabel copper-gold project, 180 km north of the capital Quito, may become one of the largest copper-gold porphyry systems ever discovered. (Image: Alpala camp. Screenshot from SolGold corporate video 2017.)

Doubts around the fate of SolGold’s (LON, TSX:SOLG) projects in Ecuador have been somewhat cleared up after the government and indigenous groups reached a deal to end protests, following talks brokered by the United Nations and the Catholic Church.

Unrest stemmed from the government’s decision on October 1 to remove fuel subsidies in order to comply with International Monetary Fund standards.

As part of the deal, fuel subsidies will be restored immediately

Violent demonstrations escalated last week after President Lenin Moreno, whose austerity measures set off protests, fled capital Quito and sought refuge in the southern port city of Guayaquil, triggering rumours of a coup d’État. 

As part of the recent deal struck between Ecuador and protesters, the government has agreed to restore fuel subsidies immediately.

The company reiterated its operations remained “unaffected” by the turmoil, adding that it was on track to deliver a third mineral resource estimate of the Alpala deposit in the fourth quarter of 2019 and a pre-feasibility study in the first quarter of 2020.

“The Cascabel project is a key project in Ecuador’s developing mining industry [which] is located away from any protected areas and away from any indigenous ancestral areas,” the copper and gold explorer said in the statement.

SolGold noted it expected to replicate Cascabel’s economic contribution with its 12 other projects across the country.