Solaris Resources: Ecuadorian Indigenous Nation Files Complaint With BCSC For Failure To Disclose

An Ecuadorian indigenous nation, the Shuar Arutam People (PSHA), has lodged a formal complaint against Solaris Resources Inc. (TSX: SLS) with the British Columbia Securities Commission. The complaint alleges that Solaris has failed to provide continuous and transparent disclosure of material information to shareholders regarding its Warintza mining project, which encroaches upon PSHA’s titled territory in the Amazon.

“The Shuar Arutam people have rejected the Warintza project for many years. Despite this, the company insists on promoting the project by dividing the communities and trying to reach agreements with other Indigenous organizations,” Jaime Palomino, President of PSHA, explained, asserting that the indigenous nation is “unaware of and reject any agreement that is or has been signed on [its] behalf.”

Despite repeated objections from the PSHA, Vancouver-headquartered Solaris has continued to advance its mining plans in the ecologically sensitive Amazon basin, the group asserts. The timing of the complaint, just days before the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto, underscores the urgency of the issue.

The complaint alleges that Solaris has only partially disclosed its relationships with Indigenous communities opposed to the project and has neglected to regularly disclose political and legal risks in Ecuador that could hinder mining activities.

A snippet of the complaint filed with the BCSC.

PSHA, recognized by the Ecuadorian government as the legal representative body of 47 communities with collective land titles in the Cordillera del Condor region, has consistently opposed the Warintza project. However, the government has failed to consult them as required by national and international Indigenous rights obligations.

“Solaris has not disclosed that Wartinza and neighboring projects have been met with significant opposition and conflict from the Shuar Arutam Indigenous people since 2019,” the complaint read.

Solaris has attempted to emphasize a “Strategic Alliance” with two communities in the area, Yawi and Warintz, but neither community has the authority to provide consent for land within PSHA’s collective territory. This has led to investor misunderstandings regarding the project’s social license to operate.

The complaint coincides with Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd.’s pending approval from Canadian regulators for a private placement of approximately 15% of Solaris’ shares. This move has triggered concerns over foreign investment in critical minerals projects, particularly given recent tensions between Canada and China regarding such investments.

Additionally, Solaris’ intention to list on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2024 could expose the company to similar complaints in the future.

Joining PSHA in the complaint are MiningWatch Canada and Amazon Watch as undersigned organizations, with the support of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon, Interfederational Committee of Shuar and Achuar Nations, Alliance of Organizations for Human Rights in Ecuador, Latin America ICCA Network, WITNESS, and Amazon Frontlines.

The full complaint can be read here.

Solaris last traded at $3.90 on the TSX.

Information for this briefing was found via the sources mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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