A provincial appeals court in Ecuador has stripped Codelco and local joint venture partner Enami of its environmental license for the Llurimagua copper project, according to a ruling published Wednesday.
Plaintiffs from the nearby Intag Valley, who have opposed mining development since the 1990s in defense of animal species like the spectacled bear, had filed a constitutional injunction alleging a violation of their right to be consulted.
The Ibarra court agreed, revoking the license granted by the environment ministry in 2014 and ordering Enami to provide a new environmental impact study and management plan for advanced exploration as a precondition for resuming work. Conditions include consultation with the affected community.
To be sure, the court didn’t strip the partners of their mining title. The decision overturns a February ruling by a lower court in Cotachi. The Llurimagua project has also been delayed by a dispute between its Chilean and Ecuadorian shareholders.
(By Stephan Kueffner)