The mine is in the Morona Santiago jungle and copper reserves have already been found. The project is in the initial exploration stage.
The Warints Shuar community has 850 inhabitants and is settled in the jungle depths of Morona Santiago.
Last Thursday it received two buildings —the House of Women and the Community House— from the Canadian company Solaris Resources Inc. and its local subsidiary Lowell Mineral Exploration Ecuador SA. These constructions are part of the “Agreement of cooperation, benefits and access for the development of the Warintza project,” which the community and the mining company signed in 2020.
This week, both parties incorporated an addendum to that agreement to improve the conditions of that commitment.
The event was attended by Federico Velásquez, president of Lowell; Vicente Tsakimp, coordinator of the Warintza Project Strategic Alliance; Oswaldo Wachapá, Trustee of Warints; and Marcelo Wachapá, trustee of the Yawi community.
The signing of this document modified the agreement signed in 2020 regarding the benefits for the Warints and Yawi communities.
For example, a wage increase is established for workers and members of a board of directors made up of representatives of both communities and Lowell.
The community leader, Vicente Tsakimp, is a member of that board. He said that now workers will receive a salary of $220 dollars for each workday. So, when they work two days, they exceed the country’s basic salary. He added that they can also work three or four days, reaching up to $880 dollars in a month.
The addendum contemplates raising salaries through a classification of personnel according to profession and skills. Workers will also receive training so they can move up and improve their income.
The project is in the initial exploration stage and the existence of copper has already been confirmed, which has the potential to become an important source of income for Ecuador, according to a statement from the Ministry of Mines.
The project is made up of 8 mining concessions, 8 camps, 24 platforms in the territory, 11 drilling machines, 102 wells drilled, and 81,310 meters drilled. The concessionaire is already working on obtaining the environmental license to start the advanced exploration phase.
The communities of the Amazon generally do not accept the entry of mining companies into their territories; however, Warints and Yawi decided to open the doors to Lowell Mineral Exploration Ecuador SA
Vicente Tsakimp said that the agreement with the mining company made the conditions for moving forward with the project clear: “The key phrase of my authority vis-à-vis the Lowell company: ‘ Mr. Manager, you will have to enter through the door and not through the window.”