Ascendant Copper’s Contractors Hit with New Stop Work Orders
This past week, the government of Ecuador ordered several subcontractors that were working in the Junin mining project for Ascendant to stop all work. The official document, dated 9 January from the Ministry of Labor and Employment, further stated that the subcontractors, including Falericorp, Daimi Services, and the international security firm “Honor and Laurel” were operating in the country illegally since they had not registered with the Ministry the past two years. The stop-work order also affected ODI, the so-called Intag community organization that Ascendant said it had signed an agreement with in late November. Two weeks ago, another government entity (Superintendency of Companies) came out with a statement saying ODI was not a legally-recognized organization.
Meanwhile, several government entities, including the Ministry of Energy and Mines, have investigated the presence of armed and regular employees said to be working for Ascendant-hired Falericorp in the area around the Community of Junin. Two such investigations have already taken place, and the presence of these individuals was confirmed. The communities, together with local government officials, are calling for the government to force Ascendant to abide by the stop-work ordered issued on December 8th, and for the area to be swept clean of armed company employees