The Ecuador Constitutional Court on Monday ruled that referendums relating to mining activities would be allowed, but that they would only apply to future mining rights that were not yet granted and that they could not be retroactively applied to concessions granted prior to the referendum.
Canada-based project developer INV Metals, which is developing the Loma Larga project, commented that the court's announcement had solidified its lawful rights.
The Constitutional Court also approved the application by the Cuenca City Council to hold a referendum on large- and medium-scale mining activities within the five water sources of the city, citing the right of citizens to participation.
INV clarified that currently granted concessions, such as Loma Larga, would not be affected.
“The decision of the Constitutional Court sets the precedent that if any further future referendum requests which meet the criteria previously set by the Constitutional Court are allowed to proceed, it is expected that the potential impact will only be related to future mineral rights not yet granted and may not be retroactively applied to previously granted concessions based on legally valid laws, rules and regulations,” the mineral resource company noted.