The Observatorio Minero Ambiental & Social del Norte de Ecuador (OMASNE) denounced today that the Canadian company, Cornerstone Resources (TSX: CGP), continues to sign agreements with landowners to continue their exploration efforts in the area of influence of the Los Cedros Protected Forest, despite the Provincial Court of Imbabura ruled the project to be in violation of the right of Environmental Consultation, and revoked their environmental permits.
OMASNE notes that the company is now working illegally in this region, and insists that Cornerstone withdraw their activities from the area in accordance with the court's ruling.
MiningWatch Canada has been reporting on the generalized state of opposition that Cornerstone Resources is facing in the country. This most recent decision is yet another example of the sovereign decisions that communities and courts are making in the country, falling on the deaf ears of the company.
Their statement (translated by Roo Vandegrift, Marrow of the Mountain) follows:
The mining companies #Cornerstone and # ENAMI-EP continue to conduct mining exploration ILLEGALLY in the area of influence of Los Cedros Protective Forest.
Cornerstone and ENAMI-EP attempt to gloss over the violation of the right to environmental consultation, which has already been determined in the ruling by the Provincial Court of Justice of Imbabura on June 19 of this year.
But, at the hands of the Ecuadorian state, for more than a decade mining companies have been deploying an invasive propaganda of "Legal, Responsible Mining"; however, once again mining companies have VIOLATED THE RIGHTS OF THE ECUADORIANS and failed to comply with judicial rulings favorable to the defense of the Water, biodiversity, and the rights of humans and nature in different territories of the country.
The Provincial Court of Justice of Imbabura, in the sentence issued in numerals 2 and 4, clearly indicates the violation of the right of the Environmental Consultation to the communities of the area of influence of the mining project and also that it resolved to withdraw the environmental license to the mining companies for operate:
2.- Declare the violation of the right to participation, established in Article 61, paragraph 4, of the Ecuadorian Constitution, in the guarantee of the environmental consultation established in article 398 ibidem, which should have been carried out to the peoples located in the area of influence of the Magdalena River Mining project, conformed by the Magdalena River 01 concessions (Code: 40000339) and Magdalena River 02 (Code: 40000340), located within the Protected Forest "Los Cedros", Llurimagua sector, García Moreno parish, Cotacachi canton, province of Imbabura.
4.- As a measure of reparation is available, leave without effect the act administrative dispute, consisting of Resolution No. 225741, dated December 12, 2017, in which the Ministry of Environment and Water, granted the environmental registration in favor of the National Mining Company ENAMI EP, to perform the initial exploration phase of the Magdalena River Mining Project, conformed by the Rio Magdalena 01 concessions (Code: 40000339) and Magdalena River 02 (Code: 40000340), located within the Protected Forest "Los Cedros", sector Llurimagua, García Moreno parish, Cotacachi canton, province of Imbabura
What does the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment expect? Them to comply with the judgment of the Court?
Where are the state institutions that must regulate the mining activity to bring order and prioritize the Court's decision in which the right of Ecuadorians is given priority?
Are the local and provincial authorities going to pronounce themselves in this respect and govern in favor of the people of Imbabura?