VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire -06/14/12)- South American Silver Corp. (SAC.TO)(SOHAF) wishes to provide an update on recent events in Bolivia. Officials from the Bolivian Ministry of Mines recently met with the local indigenous communities near the Malku Khota project and confirmed that a small group of people carrying out illegal artisanal mining on exploration concessions owned by South American Silver have been encouraging confrontations between communities and attempting to interfere with work on the project. Groups associated with this illegal artisanal mining activity have joined with activists from outside the local community and have recently held protests in La Paz and are now protesting near the project site.
South American Silver has signed comprehensive Impact and Benefit agreements supporting the project with five local Ayllus, representing 43 out of 46 land owning indigenous communities. These communities surrounding the project have been strong supporters of the exploration program and have worked closely with the company to develop programs for job training, education, agricultural enhancement and water management for long term sustainable development.
The Mines Minister also confirmed that there will be a period of constitutionally mandated consultation with the local indigenous communities before the extraction phase of the project begins, likely in 2014 or 2015. The Mines Minister has also expressed support for the view expressed by the five Ayllus who are the real inhabitants of the region and who want the company to continue the exploration work. This was also noted in an accord signed by the Government and the five Ayllus of the Malku Khota community May 28th that the company "shall continue its exploration activities".
Greg Johnson, President and CEO of South American Silver stated, "We have been working hard for years to build the trust and support of local indigenous communities, and we're proud of the fact that the vast majority recognize the social and economic benefits this project will bring to their families and their communities. These protests by outside activists and groups associated with illegal artisanal mining are acting against the stated wishes and best interests of the local indigenous communities."
"The South American Silver team has worked in Bolivia for nearly 20 years and we are confident and committed to continuing to work with all local residents - including the few who have been opposed to the project - to find new and innovative ways of delivering meaningful social and economic benefits to their communities through the development of a world class, modern mine at the Malku Khota project," said Mr. Johnson.
In addition to the local communities, the provincial government of Potosi and the national government of Bolivia have shown their consistent support for this project and to private investment generally in the country's mining sector, the second most important economic driver after oil and gas.
About South American Silver Corp.
South American Silver Corp. is a growth focused mineral exploration company creating value through the exploration and development of the Malku Khota (100%) project in Bolivia, one of the world's largest undeveloped silver-indium-gallium deposits and the large scale Escalones (100%) copper-gold project in Chile. The Company's approach to business combines the team's track record of discovery and advancement of large projects, key operational and process expertise, and a focus on community relations and sustainable development to increase shareholder value. Management has extensive experience in the global exploration and mining industry with much of that focused in Bolivia, Chile, Peru and Argentina. The Company's shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "SAC" and on the US OTC market as "SOHAF". Additional information related to South American Silver Corp. is available at www.soamsilver.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements which look into the future and to the effect of certain events on the business. Forward-looking statements may include words such as "will", "shall", and "continuing" and similar expressions. Statements regarding ongoing efforts illegal artisanal miners may also constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, factors and assumptions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors.
It is important to note that: Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these statements as the actual events may differ materially from any future events expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements if known or unknown risks, uncertainties or other factors affect the Company's business, or if the Company's assumptions prove inaccurate. Therefore, the Company cannot provide any assurance that forward-looking statements will materialize. Factors that could cause events to differ materially from current expectations expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, continuing support for the Company by the Bolivian government; changes in the attitudes among local indigenous communities; changes in the political and economic climate in Bolivia; changes in the regulatory environment in Bolivia; and other risks of the mining industry.
Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those contained in forward looking statements, there may be other factors that cause events to be materially different from those planned or expected. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Subject to applicable laws, the Company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason.
Unless otherwise indicated, forward-looking statements in this release describe the Company's expectations as of June 14, 2012.