In response to an open letter that 30 Ecuadorian organizations wrote on March 1, 2019, MiningWatch Canada, the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network, and the Rainforest Action Group wrote a collective letter which they presented to the Cornerstone Capital Resources booth this afternoon at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s 2019 Conference.
The letter was presented and attached to the open letter from Ecuador. Members of the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network held photos of protests against Cornerstone in Ecuador, and echoed the letter’s chant of “Out, Cornerstone, Out!”
They also denounced the fact that this year's PDAC 2019 Conference has dedicated an entire day to contested mining projects in that country.
The letter reads as follows:
Open Letter to Cornerstone Capital Resources, Members of Executive, Members of the Board
Ref. : Writing in solidarity to echo positions made in Community Open Letter to Cornerstone (attached here).
We, the undersigned international organizations, wish to express our concerns and echo the demands outlined in the open letter written collectively by 30 Ecuadorian organizations on March 1, for Cornerstone Capital Resources.
As organizations who work to support local communities’ rights to decide what happens in their territories as well as their plights to protect water, and their natural environments, we are very concerned to hear that despite the fact that Canadian Company, Cornerstone Capital Resources’ exploration activities are being met with fierce local, regional and national opposition, they continue.
We repudiate any actions taken by the company to instigate the kinds of social tension and conflict outlined in the letter, and recognize that instigation of this kind can be tragic and irreparable for communities’ long-term survival.
We strongly condemn any threats made against the lives of environmental defenders.
We reject any actions that the company takes which affect the natural environment. As these organizations importantly point out, many of the regions where they are exploring, are ecologically sensitive, and the ecological risk that mining presents for this region are of central concern and importance for local ways of being.
We support communities actions to protect their protected forests and natural reserves and recognize their importance as a lung, not just for Ecuador, but for the world.
We support communities rights to pursue other productive ways of life, including agriculture, ecotourism and livestock production.
We accept and identify that any actions that Cornerstone Capital Resources takes as a company in Loja, is also attributed to its Australian Joint Venture partner, SolGold resources. We denounce SolGold’s complicity in the aforementioned violations.
We echo communities concerns that Cornerstone Capital Resources has been allotted a time during “Ecuador Day” at this year’s Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) conference in Toronto, Canada. We stand beside them in denouncing the company’s attempts to “advertise” their exploration properties to foreign investors, while hiding the serious socio-cultural and environmental risks their operations pose. We think it relevant to repeat the letter’s statement that, these kinds of conferences ignore and explicitly deny the fact that 69% of the country’s population voted to protect natural areas against mining in a National Consultation Vote in 2018.
Finally, and most strongly, we support those organizations and communities who are demanding that Cornerstone Capital Resources respect their wishes and abandon their ongoing mining activities in the provinces of Carchi, Imbabura, Azuay and Loja.
- MiningWatch Canada
- The Rainforest Action Group
- Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN)