This just in:
Minutes ago, the Azuay appeals court (in a ruling delayed since Monday) has decided that the Rio Blanco mining project (owned by Chinese company Junefield) must remain suspended until it has sought approval in a “prior consultancy” with locals around the zone. This was a hotly contested court ruling because the government of Ecuador brought the case to the Appeal court, knowing the as the clear majority of locals are opposed to the mine it would mean the project, now in construction phase, would come to an indefinite halt. Also worth noting that as this is a “second appeal” it is no longer subject to higher court appeals and in fact, the government stated during the process that if it lost it would take no further action.
The ruling creates legal precedent for the whole of Ecuador and means nearly all its projects will need to go through a “prior consultancy” before being allowed to move to production. And one final thing: It’s plain awful news for INV Metals (INV.to) and its equally locals-hated ‘Loma Larga’ project a near neighbour to Rio Blanco and in the exact same regon of Ecuador.