TORONTO, April 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ - Adventus Mining Corporation ("Adventus") (TSX-V: ADZN;OTCQX: ADVZF) and Salazar Resources Limited ("Salazar") (TSX-V: SRL) (collectively the "Partners") are pleased to provide an update on the ongoing project activities and the delivery of humanitarian aid in Ecuador in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As noted in the news release by the Partners on March 18, 2020, the measures implemented by the Government of Ecuador to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus have temporarily suspended many significant economic and community activities in the country, which have included all site activities at the Curipamba copper-gold project ("Curipamba"), Pijili, and Santiago projects. During this period, Adventus and Salazar personnel based in Ecuador and Canada have been working remotely to continue the advancement of various project activities and to prepare for the restart of the drilling programs and site activities. Highlights include:
- Process engineering design for the El Domo deposit – analysis of the recently completed metallurgical test work resulting in flowsheet selection and related process design activities ahead of feasibility study commencement later in 2020
- Evaluation and selection of engineering firms for the El Domo feasibility study – Adventus management team has been in technical and commercial discussions with a number of interested groups and expects to announce a decision in the second quarter of 2020
- Continuing target generation work for the Curipamba district – expected to further refine regional drill targets for the restart of 2020 program
- Pijili exploration data compilation – preparation of a summary of all Partner exploration work done to date, including trenching results, ahead of the resumption of field activities and the start of drilling
- Santiago exploration data compilation – preparation of a summary of all historical and Partner exploration work done to date in advance of future field activities
- Roll-out of an integrated Canada-Ecuador accounting system – a new cost management and control system to improve the administrative efficiency of growing exploration and development activities
In addition to the project activities, Adventus and Salazar continue to receive strong interest from potential new financiers and strategic partners, which include mining industry corporates, concentrate traders, and sophisticated financial institutions. The continuing interest and commercial discussions despite COVID-19 related challenges help substantiate the quality of the Partners' project portfolio and support the execution of future exploration and development plans.
The Partners in connection with authorities in Ecuador continue to closely monitor the fluid COVID-19 situation and impacts on the projects, nearby communities, and personnel. With the latest information and subject to guidance from the Government of Ecuador, it may be possible to begin the remobilization of site teams later in the second quarter, with a ramp-up of activities on the three projects throughout the second and third quarters of 2020. Field activities for the remainder of the year will focus on exploration drilling at the three projects, geo-technical drilling at the El Domo deposit and activities to support the submission of the draft environmental impact assessment for the El Domo deposit within the Curipamba project.
COVID-19 Measures and Humanitarian Aid Efforts in Ecuador
In response to COVID-19 and the needs of the project communities, the Partners have committed up to C$300,000 in aid support, which will be distributed via community initiatives over the next eight to twelve months. Over the past month, the Partners have been working with local community leaders and government officials to identify the best initiatives and methods for providing aid in the project communities. Below are highlights of the Partners' ongoing aid initiatives in Ecuador.
- Critical Supplies for Health Centres
Many rural health centres are experiencing increased pressure on available resources due to limited access to staffing, funding, and medical supplies. Some key supplies have been difficult to source and transport to rural communities due to national restrictions on in-country travel. In response, the Partners are supporting local health centres in Bolivar, Loja, and Azuay provinces with much-needed medical supplies, including disinfectants, gloves, and masks. To ensure ongoing access to medical supplies, the Partners have committed to delivering provisions to local health centres over the next four months.
- Special Assistance for Vulnerable Groups
Many communities are experiencing reduced availability of supplies required to minimize the spread of COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, soap, and masks. Food security is also a concern, as loss of income or reduced financial support from family members makes access to food more difficult for the most vulnerable. With the help of Ecuador's Ministry of Social Inclusion, the Partners have identified key vulnerable groups requiring assistance in the local project communities. Supply kits are being provided to these individuals, which include medical supplies like masks hand sanitizer, and basic food supplies. Over 300 kits have been distributed in Bolivar, Loja, and Azuay provinces to date, and another 200 kits will be distributed in the beginning of May. The Partners have committed to providing approximately 300 kits each month over the next eight months to the most vulnerable individuals in the local project communities.
- Community Public Health Awareness Campaigns
Since early March, the Partners have been supporting the government's public awareness programs by creating educational campaigns on social and local media that focus on preventing the spread of COVID-19. The campaigns have been well received with widespread online views and re-posts by local community members and authorities.
- Support for Military and Police Stationed in Communities
As part of the Government of Ecuador measures, military and police presence has increased across Ecuador to ensure that the public follows government health restrictions – such as social distancing measures imposed to limit viral exposures and new cases. In response to Government requests for support, the Partners are providing contributions of food and accommodations to some of the additional military and police representatives temporarily stationed in the local project communities.
Adventus and Salazar would like to recognize the generous support of strategic investors: Altius Minerals Corporation, who have contributed funds to the aid efforts in Ecuador, and Consorcio Nobis (Nobis Group), who have been instrumental in securing critical supplies for the local project communities.
Adventus Mining Corporation (ADZN.V) (ADVZF.OTCQX) is a well-financed exploration and project development company, focused primarily in Ecuador. Its strategic shareholders include Altius Minerals Corporation, Greenstone Resources LP, Resource Capital Funds, Wheaton Precious Metals Corp., and the Nobis Group of Ecuador. Adventus is leading the exploration and engineering advancement of the Curipamba copper-gold project in Ecuador as part of an earn-in agreement to obtain a 75% ownership interest. In addition, Adventus is engaged in a country-wide exploration alliance with its partners in Ecuador, which has incorporated the Pijili and Santiago projects to date. Adventus also controls an investment portfolio of equities in several junior exploration companies as well as exploration projects in Ireland with South32 as funding partner. Adventus is based in Toronto, Canada, and is listed on the TSX-V under the symbol ADZN and trades on the OTCQX under the symbol ADVZF.
Salazar Resources (SRL.V) (CCG.F) is a mineral resource company engaged in the exploration and development of mineral deposits in Ecuador and Colombia. The company has a proven Ecuadorian discovery team led by ex-head of Newmont Ecuador, Fredy Salazar; a team of 40 people including fifteen geologists; three drill rigs and an unrivalled Ecuadorian 'grass roots' network. The Salazar team has been involved with many discoveries in Ecuador, including Curipamba (Adventus Mining and Salazar Resources), Fruta Del Norte (Lundin Gold), the Mozo deposit, Cangrejos (Lumina Gold) Rio Blanco (Junefield Mineral Resources and Hunnan Gold), and Gaby (ENAMI).
Salazar Resources aspires to be Ecuador's leading project generator with the right partners at the right time making the company self-funding. Salazar Resources has an agreement with Adventus on the Curipamba VMS discovery, whereby Adventus can earn 75% of the project by funding exploration and development expenditures of US$25 million before October 2022. A feasibility study is expected to be completed during 2021, after which Adventus is required to fund 100% of the development and construction expenditures to commercial production. In addition, Salazar Resources has a funded exploration alliance with Adventus on two other projects, Pijili and Santiago, within a defined Area of Interest. Salazar Resources is advancing its 100% owned Rumiñahui, Macara, and Los Osos projects with the aim of making Ecuador's next significant copper-gold discovery.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
This press release contains "forward -looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, identified by words or phrases such as "believes", "anticipates", "expects", "is expected", "scheduled", "estimates", "pending", "intends", "plans", "forecasts", "targets", or "hopes", or variations of such words and phrases or statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "will", "should" "might", "will be taken", or "occur" and similar expressions) are not statements of historical fact and may be forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking information herein includes, but is not limited to, statements that address activities, events, or developments that Adventus and Salazar expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future. Although Adventus and Salazar have attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking information, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate, and actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such information. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. Adventus and Salazar undertake to update any forward-looking information except in accordance with applicable securities laws.
SOURCE Adventus Mining Corporation