December 18, 2017 – Toronto, Ontario: Royal Road Minerals Limited (TSXV:RYR) (“Royal Road” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that, as anticipated in its binding framework agreement (see Press Release September 26, 2017), it has now entered into a final definitive agreement (the “Agreement”) with ECOMUN in support of its gold and copper exploration projects in Nariño Province and by mutual agreement, elsewhere in Colombia. In connection with the foregoing, the Company is also pleased to announce the appointment of Jenny Arias (formerly the Company’s Vice President, Responsible Development) to the Board of Directors.
Royal Road has submitted application for in excess of 400,000 hectares of Concession Contracts covering known gold and copper occurrences in what management believe is highly prospective geology in Nariño province of southern Colombia.
The Agreement with ECOMUN provides for the support of Royal Road’s long-term mineral exploration and development plans in Colombia, aligns Royal Road with the Colombian Government’s post-conflict aspirations, as contemplated by the British Embassy’s Business and Peace Initiative (to which Royal Road is a signatory), and demands an exemplary level of social engagement and environmental stewardship from both parties.
ECOMUN is a joint social and economic organization, which was formed by Presidential Decree on May 29, 2017, with funding and other support provided by the Colombian government and with the aim of collective and individual economic and social reincorporation of the members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia People’s Army (FARC-EP), in accordance with the final peace agreement, between the Government of Colombia and the FARC-EP on November 24, 2016.
This Agreement, which is the first of its kind since the 2016 peace agreement, includes the following key terms:
Management believe that the agreement with ECOMUN is innovative, unique and of significant importance to Colombia and its aspirations for responsible investment and sustained peace. The agreement requires Royal Road Minerals to follow performance standards in line with the Equator Principles and to apply exemplary best practices in regards to social engagement and environmental stewardship. In recognition of these importance commitments, the Company’s Board of Directors has appointed Jenny Arias to the new role of Executive Director, Responsible Development. Jenny was formerly the Company’s Vice President, Responsible Development. Jenny graduated with a degree in Biology from the National University of Colombia; she has a postgraduate certificate in Anthropology and Development Processes from the Sapienza University in Italy, a diploma in Environmental Management from the Technical University in Dresden, Germany and a Masters in Conservation Leadership from Cambridge University, UK. Jenny is from Nariño Province in Southern Colombia, where she has worked with local government and with NGOs and indigenous authorities in the region. She has designed and implemented environmental policies at the national level as well as leading projects to promote community-based conservation with small farmers and indigenous communities in areas of socio-environmental conflict. Jenny has worked for the United Nations Development Program, coordinating and participating in national initiatives, such as the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) and the expansion of the policy proposal to protect traditional knowledge systems.
Dr. Timothy Coughlin, Royal Road´s President and Chief Executive Officer, stated: “Completing the definitive agreement with ECOMUN is a significant milestone and the final piece of paperwork in what has been a year of deal-making for Royal Road. This agreement and the appointment of Jenny to the Board, reaffirms our commitment to generating economic benefits locally and to high standards of social and environmental performance. Our agreements in Colombia and also in Nicaragua, provide the Company’s experienced technical and operational teams with unique exposure and access to what we believe are some of Latin America’s most highly prospective and under-explored regions”.
In Colombia Royal Road Minerals operates through its wholly-owned Colombian companies Minerales Camino Real SAS founded in 2015 and Exploraciones Northern Colombia SAS acquired from previous owners in 2019. In Argentina Royal Road Minerals operates through its wholly owned Argentinian company, Minerales Camino Real Argentina. In Saudi Arabia and Morocco the Company operates through its 50% owned Saudi Arabian registered subsidiary, Royal Road Arabia.