Ecuador court rules against community consultation for Cascabel project
Further to the announcements on 30 May and 06 June 2019, SolGold confirms the Ecuadorean Constitutional Court has unanimously and definitively rejected the petition heard on 5 June 2019.
With this decision the petition has been closed and the case closed.
The Court rejected the petition on the basis of technicalities. The Court did not discuss, or rule on, the merits of the case. The formal resolution of the Court with further detail in to its rejection of the petition is yet to be published. SolGold will provide a further update in due course.
As advised in the Company’s earlier announcements, Constitutional submissions for a public hearing were received and heard in the Ecuadorean Constitutional Court on 5 June 2019 regarding the validity of the question proposed for a potential referendum regarding mining in the provinces in which SolGold’s 85% owned Cascabel project and other wholly owned exploration projects are located. Representatives from a large number of Ecuadorean government bodies, employees, regional community representatives, pro-mining groups, international mining groups as well as members of the community from Cascabel attended the hearing to demonstrate their strong opposition to the proposal. The Court heard arguments from many interested parties with the great majority opposing the proposed question.
The Cascabel project is a key project in Ecuador’s developing mining industry and a critical driver for the future of Ecuador’s economy in the view of the government. SolGold continues to receive full and objective support from the Ecuadorean government, who, most recently, publicly stated that Cascabel has the potential to become one of the world’s largest copper, silver and gold mines on 12 June 2019.
SolGold is committed to building an integrated explorer, appraiser and miner in the copper industry in Ecuador, and enjoys the support of its major shareholders, including Newcrest and BHP. SolGold is committed to the country’s economic development, provides employment and conducts responsible mining in line with local and international laws and standards.
SolGold recently announced findings from its Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) for the Alpala deposit at the Cascabel project in Northern Ecuador. The project indicated approximately US$17bn (at US$3.30/lb copper price and US$1,300oz gold price) in taxes, royalties and profit shares to the government and peoples of Ecuador.
The Company currently employs approximately 500 Ecuadoreans, and its staff is 97% Ecuadorean. The project will provide substantial and ongoing support for local, and a variety of, Ecuadorean industries and companies, and provide a platform for growth in the GDP of Ecuador. SolGold aims to replicate this project on other locations throughout the country as part of its plan to create a multigenerational company in Ecuador.