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Mining Project Warintza de Solaris ResSource Inc., Ecuador

The Shuar Arutam people fight against the mining project of the Canadian company Solaris RevSources who threatens their territory.

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Since the 1990s, the Ecuadorian government has granted several mining concessions on sites located within the Shuar territory, south of the Ecuadorian Amazon. In April 1999, the BHP Billiton mining company signed a contract with the Warintza Shuar community. This company transferred its Mining Project Cordillera del Cóndor to the Current Resources company at the beginning of the 2000s. The latter, in 2001, managed to extend the previous agreement signed by BHP Billiton (Warintza mining project) for five more years. As a result, intraemic conflicts emerged between Shuar centers that were in favor of this activity and those who opposed. In 2003, the Minera Lowell Mineral Exploration company acquired the Warintza project and signed another agreement with the community for a period of 30 years. Concerns emerged between Shuar, who performed various assemblies to discuss the situation. Of the Great Interprovincial Federation of Shuar Centers (FICSH) is born, the organization of the Shuar Arutam (PSHA) people as a pilot of autonomy, self-determination and self-government, legalized in 2006. In October of that same year, the FICSH manifests its opposition to mining activity Within its territory and urges the company Lowell to leave its territory before November 1 of that same year, the company refuses to withdraw from the territory and the next day the Shuar people evict from their territory the company as well as the army that had arrived in helicopters [1].

thirteen years later, in 2019, the Canadian company Solaris Resources acquires the project, through its subsidiary in Ecuador Lowell Mineral Exploration, in order to exploit copper and molybdenum. Three of its shareholders are mineral entrepreneurs recognized in the Canadian mining corporate world: Richard Work, President of Solaris, Ross Beaty, Founder of Pan American Silver [2] and Equinox Gold Corp, companies reported in the Americas for violation of human rights and Environmental pollution, the Ludin family, whose mining projects through Lundin Group Companies are resisted by communities in El Salvador [3] and Ecuador [4].

The Warintza project has 8 concessions and is found in its second four years of initial and actively piercing exploration. According to Solaris, it is expected to reach the preliminary economic assessment stage of the project at the end of 2021 or early 2022. While in some media indicates that they can spend up to 10 years to start the exploitation phase (Interview on Radio Mia, June 29, 2021), in others affirms that it is difficult to foresee and speak from 7 to 15 years [5].

Promoting the extraction of metals and minerals in the Ecuadorian Amazon Under the Flag of the Energy Transition

Copper is considered one of the critical metals needed for the energy transition of fossil fuels to renewable energies to reduce emissions of CO2 and thus fight against climate change. Technologies necessary for the energy transition as solar panels and electric cars require high amounts of copper for their manufacture [6].

The Ecuadorian Government and Industrial Mining Cameras use The discourse of the energy transition in order to promote the extraction of metals and minerals into fragile ecosystems such as the Amazon and Páramos. According to the Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources, "the rise in the price of copper, anchored to the" bullish market with green dyes "as they have called analysts from international financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, will undoubtedly favor the producing countries of this metal. This is the case of Ecuador, whose benefits will be reflected in a greater payment of royalties for the State for its commercialization "[7]. Likewise, the Government together with the Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Engineers of Mines del Ecuador (AIME) attempt to paint green mining in Ecuador with euphemisms such as: "Climate" mining "" Proactive "," decontaminating "and" Green "Among others. The aime on its side goes further and highlights the role of Ecuador in the manufacture of electric cars: "No mining can not be mitigated the climate change that is closely related to electromobility, renewable energies and in the principles of sustainability" [8 ].

Backed by the Government, Solaris uses this discourse in favor of promoting Warintza among its ethical investors and / or investors interested in the potential economic gains of copper projects. For example, Daniel Earle, president of Solaris, tweeted in 2021 that "copper is the future; Oil is the past. As the world awakens in the reality of copper as the fundamental metal of the electric future, we will see how a wave of acquisitions of historical proportions "[9] is unleashed. Likewise, the President of Solaris has made sure to establish the link between Ecuador, Warintza, and the future boom of copper, "Ecuador has an important role to play in supplying the current energy transition of electrification in which copper is indispensable and each Tastly scarce "[10].

In Corporate Mining Spaces Solaris Resources has reinforced the idea that the company is in a perfect position to capitalize on this copper demand which may contribute to projecting projects and electric cars in the future [11]. The company is published in this way in order to increase the number of investors, given that being a junior company needs a great capital to finance its exploration activities. As you can see in the next section, despite these governmental and corporate discourses, the PSHA denounces Solaris of Threats, Harassment and Vulneration of Your Collective Rights and Nature.

"PSHA already decided not to mining": Impacts of the project and resistance

56% of the ancestral territory of the Shuar Arutam people has been concessioned to Solaris Resources (Canada) but also to 12 other companies [12] Like Solgold (Australia), Explorcobres S.A. EXSA (China and Canada) and Aurania Resources (Canada) without prior consultation and consent processes, free and informed [13]. According to Daniel Earle, the project is at an optimal place since it is surrounded by first-hand infrastructure: from motorway connection, access to a cheap electric network, hydroelectric power, and "especially at an abundant source of fresh water "[14].

In 2019, the PSHA reaffirms its right to self-determination by conducting a query in the territory for registration" as "Territory of Life (Ticca ) "And launches the international campaign" PSHA has already decided not to mining "[15] and in January 2021 it brings a claim before the ILO for the breach of the Equatorian State of ILO Convention 169 [16].

Due to its firm opposition to Solaris, the PSHA has been the subject of a series of abuse by this company in order to divide them, intimidate them and thus move forward with the project. Solaris is accused of ignoring and deteriorating internal processes, ignoring collective decisions and dividing communities by signing, for example, a strategic alliance with two of the 47 communities that make up the PSHA, Warints and Yawi [17], without authorization And against the decisions of the PSHA assemblies, which are the maximum decision organ [18]. According to Solaris, this alliance, which advertises as "a successful and unique example" of related to communities, was only signed with these two communities because they are "the only legitimate communities" on the territory in which they operate [19] .

In your attempt to show that the project enjoys social license to your investors, Solaris has carried out actions that seriously destroy the social fabric of the communities. On September 8, 2020, Solaris signed an Impact and Benefits Agreement with the WarINTS and YAWI centers. Although the company argues that this agreement "provides certainty of community support from the exploration, development stage to production ... which mitigates the key risk issue for the industry in any new project that is associated with indigenous communities" [20], The truth is that the project does not enjoy a social license. The Shuar Arutam people sent an open letter to Solaris, which was published in companies and human rights, categorizing the Agreement as "illegitimate" [21].

Likewise, Solaris has led members of the Strategic Alliance to the Association of Prospectors and Developers of Canada (PDAC) [22] to the world's largest mining convention that takes place every year in March in Toronto, Canada. Through letters addressed to the PDAC and the company, the PSHA has pronounced on both opportunities against this mining event and the company to invite "illegitimate representatives remunerated by the mining company" [23]. Upon returning to their homes after participating in the March 2020 PDAC, three parents of the PDAC attendees died for symptoms similar to those of the COVID-19 in the following month of their return and the virus expanded in the communities of The Cordillera del Cóndor [24].

On the other hand, the PSHA has denounced the state and the company for harassment, criminalization and attempting to establish fear to allow progress of the project. The communities have denounced the militarization of their territories at the request of the Canadian company and the persecution of their leaders and leaders [25]. Josefina Tunki, current President of PSHA, denounced the Solaris Manager before the Criminal Prosecutor's Office of Sucúa, in March 2021, by death threat and intimidation [26]. According to Tunki, the aim of the threat would have been ammented to the PSHA and force him not to carry out his lawsuit against the Ecuador State before the ILO for non-compliance with Convention 169 [27]. One of the most recent militarization attempts suffered by the communities occurred at the end of September 2021, when the women of the Maikiuants community, exercising their right of territorial control as a Shuar people, did not allow the entry of machinery for the construction of the Via to Warints for not having "environmental or vial permits" [28]: "The women of Maikiuants reported to be assaulted and verbally threatened by salaried men of the Transnational Solaris Minera, which creates conflicts, divisions among families, Communities and organization. Women also reported that there is already contamination in the Warints River, and that is why the people of that community captured by the mining is resorting to the Akas de Maikiuants River "instead of the closest to their communities [29].

Despite the ferre rejection of the Shuar Arutam people to large-scale mining in its territory, Solaris continues with its exploration and drilling plans in Shuar territory. According to the PSHA, the impacts of these works are already feeling in their territory, among them, the loss of primary forests, destruction of sacred places and the pollution of the water network and their watershed and microencan systems [30]: An irreversible deterioration that contributes to the loss of ancestral knowledge of the communities represented by PSHA [31]. The small mining, legal and illegal, has also intensified in the area as part of the introduction of the population in the mining economy, with serious social and environmental damage in the territory.

The PSHA has been published internationally by denouncing the image washing that the company tries to make a kind face that complies with corporate social responsibility. For example, in February 2021, the PSHA wrote an open letter to the UN Global Compact after it incorporates Solaris to the initiative that meets companies that undertake to respect human rights and the environment. In the letter, the PSHA informs the global pact that Solaris is not a reference of corporate responsibility [32] but, on the contrary, is a company that generates conflicts in their communities and does not respect their rights.

mining decree 151: "This mining bill has no benefit for us or for the Ecuadorian people"

well during the presidential elections, the current President Guillermo Lasso had promised to promote "human rights and nature ... and the protection of the environment with a sustainable agenda" [33], months after his election, during a meeting with several company managers Mineras, issued Decree 151 that seeks to accelerate mining in the Amazon and show a cozy and conducive atmosphere for mining investors [34]. All this without the consent of indigenous peoples.

Decree 151 aims to increase mining extraction for "development" and "economic reactivation" of the country. However, as President Josefina Tunki says "This mining bill has no benefit for us, for our bases, for the Ecuadorian people, not only for us ... Development is not only mining ... Mining is going to poison our water "[35]. In addition, it includes the acceleration of environmental permits of mining projects in 100 days without taking into account the impacts in the territory of the Shuar and Rights.

while the Ecuadorian government Promotes mining within the framework of the energy transition as a green alternative and Solaris Resources and its executives sell to warintza as a project that will contribute to the decarbonization necessary for the energy transition emphasizing the economic gains of such an investors, the Shuar People Arutam reaffirms that "the PSHA already said no to mining in its territory" and that this is a mining project that violates its collective rights, contaminates its territories and affects its ways of life.

Basic Data
Name of conflict:Mining Project Warintza de Solaris ResSource Inc., Ecuador
State or province:Province Morona Santiago.
Location of conflict:Territory of Shuar Arutam, Cordillera del Cóndor, between the Zamora, Coangos and Santiago rivers, on the Amazon border between Peru and Ecuador.
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Mineral ore exploration
Specific commodities:Copper
Project Details and Actors
Project details

123,760,200 tonnes:

See more
Project area:23,500,000.
Level of Investment for the conflictive project66,240,000 (for the expansion of the mine)
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:People Shuar Arutam (PSHA) formed by 6 associations, 47 communities and more than 12,000 inhabitants
Start of the conflict:1999
Company names or state enterprises:Solaris Resources Inc. from Canada - Empresa matriz del proyecto
SolGold from Australia
ExplorCobres S.A. (EXSA ) from China
Aurania Resources from Canada
BHP Billiton (BHP) from United Kingdom
Corriente Resources Inc. from Canada
Lowell Mineral Exploration Ecuador S.A. from Ecuador - Subsidiaria de Solaris Ressource
Relevant government actors:- National Executive Power
- Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources
- Governorate of Morona Santiago
- Ministry of the Environment.
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:- Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA)

- Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE)

- Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon (Conféniae):

- Shuar-Achuar Interfering Committee

- Alliance of organizations for human rights in Ecuador

- Latin American Association for Alternative Development Village

- Amazonwatch:

- Ticca Consortium:

- Tiam Foundation:

- rain:

- Witness:
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Shuar Arutam village
Forms of mobilization:Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Shareholder/financial activism.
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Noise pollution, Waste overflow, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Militarization and increased police presence, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Other socio-economic impacts
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Court decision (undecided)
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
Threat of death to President PSHA and collaborator Communication
Proposal and development of alternatives:In rejection of mining activities in its territory and demanding that your life plan is respected, which includes its decision to reject any extractive activity in its territory, the PSHA reaffirms in 2019 its right to self-determination by conducting a consultation in the territory For the record of "PSHA as a Ticca Territory (Ticca)" and launches the international campaign "PSHA already decided not to mining."
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Primera Ley de Minería (Ley Nro. 126)

Ley de Minería (2009)

Ministerio de Minas creado en el 2015

Reconocimiento Constitucional de los Derechos Colectivos (1998), Derechos de la Naturaleza (2008)

Convenio 169 de la OIT

[1] Prespectivas territoriales frente al extractivismo en la Amazonía Sur del Ecuador. Myriam Elizabeth Morillo Trujillo. Universidad de Andina Simón Bolívar.

Publicado en Quito en diciembre del 2020.
[click to view]

[2] Conflictos y daños en los proyectos de Pan American Silver en América Latina. EJAtlas.
[click to view]

[3] Comunicado "Digamos no a la mina Cerro Blanco". Publicado en Alianza Centro Americana Frente a la Mineria (ACAFREMIN). Pedro Cabezas. Publicado el 22 de mayo de 2021.
[click to view]

[4] Entrada de Blog "Investigadores Ecuatorianos Presentan Estudio sobre Proyecto Minero Canadiense/Sueco en Ecuador: Arroja Resultados Perturbadores". MiningWatch Canada. Publicado el 17 de enero de 2019.
[click to view]

[5] ENT SOLARIS RESOURCES INC. Jorge Fierro y Federico Velásquez. Petroenergía. Grabado el 19 de mayo de 2021.
[click to view]

[6] Informe El Litio: la nueva disputa comercial dinamizada por el falso mercado verde. MiningWatch Canada, REMA, GeoComunes. Enero del 2021.
[click to view]

[7] EL PRECIO DEL COBRE SE PROYECTA AL ALZA. Boletín de Prensa. Gobierno del Encuentro, Ministerio de Energía y Recursos Naturales No Renovables. Publicado el 2 de marzo de 2021.
[click to view]

[8] Anglo American PLC refuerza presencia en Ecuador. Vía Minera. Octubre 3 de 2021.
[click to view]

[9] Tweet de Daniel Earle, @DanielEarle3. Tweeter. Publicado el 7 de mayo de 2021.
[click to view]

[10] Ecuador voters embracing mining-friendly environment. MiningFeeds. GEO.CA. Publicado el 28 de enero de 2021.
[click to view]

[11] The Copper Boom has only just began. Mining Feeds.
[click to view]

[12] Pueblo Shuar Arutam anunció que iniciará demanda ante la OIT en contra el Estado ecuatoriano - noviembre 2020
[click to view]

[13] ¡El Territorio del Pueblo Shuar Arutam es Territorio de Vida!. ALDEA. Publicado el 20 de enero de 2020.
[click to view]

[14] Solaris Resources - 121 Mining Investment TV April 2021

*minute 3 to 5
[click to view]

[15] Pueblo Shuar Ya decidió No a la Minería- Bambozila Seleccioó Especial - 2020
[click to view]

[16] Pronunciamiento del Comité Interfederacional Shuar – Achuar, CONFENIAE y CONAIE ante Convención Minera en Canadá (PDAC 2021)
[click to view]

[17] Carta Abierta: El Pueblo Shuar Arutam Ante el Ilegitimo Convenio Suscrito entre los Centros Warints y Yawi y la Empresa Canadiense Solaris Resources. Publicado el 23 de septiembre de 2020.
[click to view]

[18] Alliance of Human Rights Organizations in Ecuador: United Nations Global Compact Initiative Admits Canadian Mining Company Despite Violations of Indigenous Rights - Febrero 2021
[click to view]

[19] PetroEnergía TV: SOLARIS RESOURCES INC. Jorge Fierro y Federico Velásquez - mayo 2021
[click to view]

[20] Daniel Earle-Twitter.
[click to view]

[21] Carta Abierta: El Pueblo Shuar Arutam Ante el Ilegitimo Convenio Suscrito entre los Centros Warints y Yawi y la Empresa Canadiense Solaris Resources - Sept 2020
[click to view]

[22] Solaris - Warintza.
[click to view]

[23] Pronunciamiento del Comité Interfederacional Shuar-Achuar, CONFENIAE y CONAIE ante Convención Minera en Canadá (PDAC 2021) - marzo 2021
[click to view]

[24] Voces desde el territorio: Cómo la industria minera mundial se está beneficiando con la pandemia de COVID-19 - Junio 2020
[click to view]

[25] Pueblo Shuar Arutam anunció que iniciará demanda ante la OIT en contra el Estado ecuatoriano - noviembre 2020
[click to view]

[26] Representante y defensora Shuar denuncia amenazas de minera canadiense - marzo 2021
[click to view]

[27] Pueblo Shuar Arutam anunció que iniciará demanda ante la OIT en contra el Estado ecuatoriano - noviembre 2020
[click to view]

[28] MAIKIUANTS NO DA PASO A LA MINERÍA. Informe special de PSHA (SEPT 29, 2021): VIDEO
[click to view]

[click to view]

[30]El legado toóxico de Canadá: Pan American Silver y el multimillonario minero Ross Beaty en América Latina
[click to view]

[31] Representante y defensora shuar denuncia amenazas de minera canadiense – marzo 2021
[click to view]

[32] Carta de PSHA a Pacto Global de las Naciones Unidas - febrero 2021
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Josefina Tunki and women human rights defenders attacked by mining companies and the ecuadorian state (junio 2021):
[click to view]

Carta abierta al Pacto Mundial de Naciones Unidas Ecuador del Consejo de Gobierno de los Pueblos Shuar Arutam - CGPSHA (febrero 2021):
[click to view]

The Shuar Arutam Will Not Be Divided by Canadian Mining Company Solaris Resources (septiembre 2020):
[click to view]

The Shuar Arutam people defend their territories and biodiversity
[click to view]

[click to view]

Alerta: Pueblo Shuar Arutam hace frente a Proyectos Mineros y de Infraestructura que amenazan su Territorio de Vida
[click to view]

Documental "PSHA Ya Decidió : NO a la minería"
[click to view]

Pueblo Shuar Arutam, perfil de Facebook
[click to view]

Ecuador: Mining company Solaris Resource accused of violating the Shuar Arutam indigenous peoples rights; the company responds (octubre 2020):
[click to view]

Carta Abierta: El Pueblo Shuar Arutam Ante el Ilegitimo Convenio Suscrito entre los Centros Warints y Yawi y la Empresa Canadiense Solaris Resources (septiembre 2020):
[click to view]

Presidenta de PSHA denuncia amenazas de minera canadiense
[click to view]

Guillermo Lasso, @LassoGuillermo. Tweeter.
[click to view]

Ambientalistas suman críticas a política petrolera de Lasso. La Hora. Publicado el 13 de agosto de 2021.
[click to view]

Directo Nadia Sensu. Facebook. Compartido el 18 de septiembre de 2021.
[click to view]

Situación de personas defensoras de derechos humanos, colectivos y de la naturaleza en Ecuador: retos y desafíos en la construcción de sistemas integrales y diferenciados para su protección (informe junio 2021):
[click to view]

Voces desde el territorio: Cómo la industria minera mundial se está beneficiando con la pandemia de COVID-19 (junio 2020):
[click to view]

Other comments:Documentary Movies:
-Psha already decided not to mining
- Because Mied Bosco Wisum
- Jose Tendetza.
- Fredy Taish.
- PSHA-TICCA case study

Shuar Arutam village (PSHA):
Meta information
Last update27/09/2021
Conflict ID:5639
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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