How Solaris Resources’ (TSX:SLS) Sustainable and Participatory Model Advances the Warintza Project

The Warintza Project. Source: Solaris Resources The Warintza Project in…


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The Warintza Project. Source: Solaris Resources

The Warintza Project in southeastern Ecuador, operated by Canadian copper mining company Solaris Resources (TSX:SLS) (OTCQB:SLSSF), has become a model for sustainable mineral exploration and development. Solaris adheres to a “Participatory Mining” model that engages government, communities, and the company in an alliance governing the strategic socio-economic development alongside the project. This inclusive approach is based on transparency, dialogue, and building trust between stakeholders with the goal of improving quality of life in a sustainable manner.

For example, the company has explicit community consent for the Warintza Project through legally-binding community agreements with the Warints and Yawi Shuar communities that host the Project on their Ancestral Lands. These Ancestral Lands are legally-defined and have been registered with the Government of Ecuador since 2002. The timeline of agreements includes:

  • January 2019: Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Warints and Yawi communities
  • September 2020: Impact and Benefits Agreement, the first signed in the country with Shuar communities
  • March 2020: Impact and Benefits Agreement for Project advancement and scope expansion
  • Late 2022: Completed an Environmental Impact Assessment on the Project

This formal consent demonstrates the strong relationship and trust built between Solaris and the local communities through open dialogue and mutually beneficial partnerships. The participatory model ensures the indigenous populations are informed, engaged, and ultimately benefit from the development of their ancestral territory.

Solaris’ commitment to sustainability is also embedded in its policies and participation in the UN Global Compact. They strive to minimize environmental impacts by going beyond required guidelines, using robust monitoring, and integrating protection into daily practices. Compliance with regulations, biodiversity management, community involvement, efficient resource use, responsible waste management, and education on best practices foster environmental stewardship. Proactive efforts like their greenhouse gas reduction plan and partnerships demonstrate Solaris’ dedication.

Central to the sustainability strategy is the Citizen Participation Process where local populations are informed of potential impacts and can provide input that gets incorporated into environmental studies. This participatory mechanism for consultation and dialogue ensures community engagement and consent, legitimizing the project. Solaris maintains high corporate governance standards so decisions align with their core values of sustainable development.

The 2024 drilling program at Warintza recently commenced, with plans to have six rigs operating by February. An updated mineral resource estimate is expected by late Q2/24, likely showing major growth. Drilling will continue beyond this as permitted, with some holes serving other purposes like metallurgical testing. Exploration is also underway regionally to define additional drill targets.

Solaris also recently closed US$40 million in financing, including equity and initial drawdown of their debt facility, to fund 2024-2025 baseline programs. The major C$130 million strategic investment by Zijin Mining Group will allow aggressive expansion of programs this year to significantly advance the project. The partnership with successful global miner Zijin will provide technical expertise and capacity to realize Warintza’s potential as a premier copper district.

Solaris’ ethical, sustainable model aligned with their financing strategy demonstrates a promising approach for the future of mineral development. The Warintza Project aims to create value responsibly and improve local communities, setting a positive example for the industry.

 

 

 

The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a licensed professional for investment advice. The author is not an insider or shareholder of any of the companies mentioned above.

Matthew Evanoff

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I specialize in the mining industry, focusing on top global mining stocks. My reporting covers the latest industry news, company/project developments, and profiles of key players. With a degree in finance and economics from the University of Toronto, I’ve contributed to a wide range of industry publications. Beyond my professional pursuits, I have a keen interest in global business and a love for travel.



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