Mayor Auki Tituaña sent a scathing letter to the British Columbia Securities Commission earlier this week to let them know just how upset he is with Ascendant Copper’s presence in his county. (English translation is available below.) The BCS Commission is looking into whether Ascendant Copper should list their company in the Canadian Stock exchanges, and part of the work is checking into its past and present corporate history.
So far the Commission has not allowed Ascendant Copper to list on the different stock exchanges, thus the company has been unable to get the 15 million dollars they are seeking to finish exploration in Junin and Chaucha (Junín would get most of this funding). Due to the international campaign aimed at supplying the Commission with information casting doubt on what Ascendant is claming and informing them of the position here of the communities and Municipality, the company late last month had to significantly modify their prospectus (that’s the document the Commission is examining) and admit to many of the risks they were omitting, or reporting insufficiently. The company has to provide real evidence as to the risks involved to the Commission, and the Commission has to make sure investors are not put at material risks because information Ascendant might have left out, or underreported (or, more common, exaggerated).
In the meantime, and to counter one of Ascendant Copper’s more outrageous claims, DECOIN contracted the research organization Jantu Sacha-CDC a couple of months ago to evaluate the status of the Junin community reserve where the most vital part of Ascendant’s concession is. Ascendant had been claiming that the area was heavily logged and hardly had any forests. Jatun Sacha discovered more than 60% is primary forests, about 23% lightly logged primary and secondary forests.
So, with that in mind, here’s another headache for the company:
Excerpts from Mayor Auki’s latest letter:
…..It is also necessary to inform you that, as of June of 2005, the Congressional Civic Anti-Corruption Commission of Ecuador-CCCC – commenced an exhaustive investigation of corrupt procedures with everything having to do with the mining concessions in the Intag area of Cotacachi County.
It is lamentable that the presence of Ascendant Copper Corporation in our County is responsible for causing grave conflicts when attempting to divide and confront our population with deviant measures such as the buying of consciousness, offering of gifts, using public installations to give away presents, making themselves out to be economic saviors, and even relying on people connected to the drugs traffic, corrupt ex-military personnel, demagogic politicians and frustrated ex candidates, that the only thing they pretend is to use the people in order to increase their own economic power, knowing it implies the slow death of all our County. This situation is made even more severe with the outrageous attitude of Ascendant Copper Corporation buying vast areas of forest and agricultural lands.
By refusing to trade Ascendant Copper Corporation’s securities in the British Columbia Securities Exchange, the opportunity of acting justly and respecting national and international law rests entirely in your hands.
It is the intention of the Cotacachi County government to continue supporting the legal and conscientious resistance to the JUNÍN mining project and we will not give up our strong conviction to defend our mother earth, and will utilize any legal mechanisms in our Ecuadorian Law, and other international treaties of which Ecuador is party to.
Auki Tituaña Males
MAYOR OF COTACACHI
COTACACHIMANTA JATUN PUSHAK
Certified English translation prepared, at Heller Ehrman’s request, by Park Evaluations and Translations, of New York:
Municipality Letter (Acrobat PDF)
Northern Ruffled Feathers:
Our July 17, 2005 Intag Update could be read to imply, incorrectly, that a news release from the Canadian Parliament’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade had identified Ascendant’s Intag project as an example in connection with the committee’s recent report relating to the impact of Canadian mining companies abroad. As we stated, the Standing Committee did in fact conclude that mining activities in some developing countries are having adverse and improper effects on local communities, and its report called on the Canadian government to take several specific steps to curb abuses by Canadian mining companies abroad. We are not aware, however, of any statements by the Standing Committee that identify Ascendant or the Intag mining project specifically. The news release we referred to in our July 17, 2005 Intag Update was a July 13, 2005 news release by MiningWatch Canada, which detailed the Standing Committee’s report and also identified Ascendant’s Intag project as one relevant source of concern. The July 17, 2005 Intag Update posted on this website has been amended to reflect this clarification.