Ms. Candace MacGibbon reports
INV METALS PROVIDES UPDATE ON THE LOMA LARGA PROJECT
INV Metals Inc. has provided an update to its press release dated Feb. 13, 2019, on the 100-per-cent-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 Giron 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 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.
Candace MacGibbon, chief executive officer, 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 Giron 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, Chumblin and Victoria del Portete.
About INV Metals Inc.
INV Metals is an international mineral resource company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of precious and base metal projects in Ecuador. Currently, INV Metals' primary assets are: (i) its 100-per-cent interest in the Loma Larga gold exploration and development property in Ecuador; and (ii) its 100-per-cent interests in exploration concessions in Ecuador, including the Las Penas, Tierras Coloradas, La Rebuscada and Carolina exploration projects.
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