TORONTO, March 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- INV Metals Inc. (“INV Metals” or the “Company”) (INV.TO) provides an update to its press release dated February 13, 2019, on the 100% owned Loma Larga property, located in Ecuador.
The Company reports the immediate suspension of the referendum that was previously called by the Ecuadorian National Electoral Council (“CNE”) regarding mining activities in the Girón Canton, which was scheduled to be held on March 24, 2019.
A local group of members of the community of San Gerardo named “United for Development” (the “Local Group”), submitted a legal challenge in the form of a Precautionary Measure citing a violation of their rights as a result of the recent actions of the CNE. The presiding judge ruled today in favour of the Local Group. As a result, the referendum has been suspended and the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court will have final legal jurisdiction to determine its constitutionality, as described below. The decision to grant the suspension is subject to appeal by the CNE.
Ms. Candace MacGibbon, CEO, stated, “We are very pleased that this decision ensures the rights of the Local Group and those of our surrounding communities are upheld and respected. We are encouraged that the Constitutional Court will ultimately determine the constitutionality of the referendum using the appropriate legal process provided for within Ecuadorian law and that the referendum will be suspended until such time. We continue to maintain strong local support and will work closely with the Ministry of Energy and Nonrenewable Resources and our local communities towards the responsible and sustainable development of the Loma Larga gold-copper-silver project.”
The Company also reports that on March 7, 2019 the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court acknowledged the receipt of the application for an opinion on the constitutionality of two concurrent referendums which were previously submitted for evaluation by the CNE. The second referendum application was submitted by the Local Group to hold a referendum in Girón and San Fernando Cantons in support of the areas of influence of Loma Larga benefiting from mining royalties from responsible mining.
The acknowledgement of the Constitutional Court on March 7, 2019, provides that the Constitutional Court will consider and vote upon the issue of the constitutionality of both referendums. The timeline for a decision is unknown at this point.
INV Metals has been advised by its legal counsel, supported by previous challenges by the Ministry of Energy and Nonrenewable Resources, that the referendum is not constitutional based on Articles 261 and 438 of the Ecuadorian Constitution. Article 261 states, “The Central State shall have exclusive jurisdiction over…energy resources, minerals, hydrocarbons, water resources, biodiversity, and forest resources", while Article 438 states, “The Constitutional Court shall issue a prior and binding ruling of constitutionality in the following cases, in addition to those stipulated by the law: 2. Calls to referendums nationwide or of decentralized autonomous governments.”
Loma Larga is one of five strategic mining projects identified by the State Ministry and INV Metals will continue its permitting efforts in 2019 within the laws and regulations of Ecuador with the support from the Ministry of Energy and Nonrenewable Resources, and the extensive support from the nearby communities of San Gerardo, Chumblín and Victoria del Portete.
About INVTM Metals Inc.
INVTM Metals is an international mineral resource company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of precious and base metal projects in Ecuador. Currently, INVTM Metals’ primary assets are: (1) its 100% interest in the Loma Larga gold exploration and development property in Ecuador, and (2) its 100% interests in exploration concessions in Ecuador, including the Las Peñas, Tierras Coloradas, La Rebuscada and Carolina exploration projects.
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Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking information. Forward-looking information contained in this new release includes, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the referendums, the judgement to suspend the referendum called by CNE, the results of any appeal and the results of votes with respect to the constitutionality of referendums. These statements are based on information currently available to the Company and the Company provides no assurance that actual results will meet management’s expectations. In certain cases, forward-looking information may be identified by such terms as “anticipates”, “believes”, “could”, “estimates”, “expects”, “may”, “shall”, “will”, or “would”. Forward-looking information contained in this press release is based on certain factors and assumptions made by management and qualified persons in light of their experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors management and the qualified persons believe are appropriate in the circumstances. While the Company considers these assumptions to be reasonable based on information currently available to it, they may prove to be incorrect. Forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking information. Such factors include risks inherent in the exploration and development of mineral deposits, including risks relating to changes in project parameters as plans continue to be redefined, risks relating to grade or recovery rates, reliance on key personnel, operational risks, regulatory, capitalization and liquidity risks. Please refer to the Company’s Annual Information Form dated March 23, 2018 filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com for other risks that could materially affect the Company. This list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the Company’s forward-looking information. These and other factors should be considered carefully and readers should not place undue reliance on the Company’s forward-looking information. The Company does not undertake to update any forward-looking information that may be made from time to time by the Company or on its behalf, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.