SolGold facing possible referendum over copper-gold project in Ecuador

Ecuador’s Constitutional Court has received submissions for a public referendum on mining in the provinces where Australian mining firm SolGold is advancing its Cascabel copper-gold project, along with other exploration projects.

Representatives from several Ecuadorean government bodies, regional community representatives, pro-mining groups, international mining groups workers and community members from Cascabel attended the hearing to demonstrate their opposition to the proposal, said SolGold.

The court is expected to deliver its verdict by June 24th. The dual listed company’s share price sank in London and Toronto following the news of the referendum submission.

SolGold recently completed a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) for the Alpala deposit in the Cascabel project in Northern Ecuador, which estimated the value of the deposit to be up to US$4.5 billion, with up to $17 billion in taxes, royalty and profit to be made by Ecuador’s government.

Earlier this week, Ecuador’s vice president Otto Sonnenholzner launched a new mining policy designed to strengthen investment and increase production in the sector. The document sees the mining industry contributing to 4% of the country’s GDP by 2021.