Ascendant Copper Corporation

Ascendant Copper Corporation

March 26, 2007 08:52 ET

Ascendant Copper Announces Ecuadorian Government Removes Barricades to Ascendant's Junin Property

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - March 26, 2007) - Ascendant Copper Corporation (TSX:ACX) (TSX:ACX.WT) (BERLIN:A0HMLE) (FRANKFURT:A5C) (the "Company") is pleased to announce positive developments regarding its 100%-owned Junin copper porphyry project located in Ecuador. On March 20, 2007, the Company met with members of government, including the provincial Governor, a representative of the Ministry of Energy and Mines and of the Ministry of Government and Police, and with representatives of the ecological group opposing mining activities in the region. All three groups - the government, Ascendant, and the anti-mining group - stated an interest in restoring law and order to the region, reducing tensions, and respecting the rights of all involved.

Separate agreements were signed in parallel by the Company and the anti-mining group with the government. Opponents of the Junin project have agreed with government officials to:

- open all roads in the area which have been previously blocked by them,

- guarantee free access and circulation to all persons, including representatives of Ascendant,

- deliver to the police a cache of arms under their control, and

- return to Ascendant its demonstration farm in the Intag area which had been illegally seized the preceding week.

For its part, Ascendant has reluctantly agreed, based on the demands of the anti-mining group, to substantially reduce its work force, from 159 to 48, and its current activities which include the providing of medical and dental care to the area. The work force primarily consists of local community members who assist the Company in conducting agricultural activities on surface lands owned by Ascendant as well as implementing social services and community programs.

The government stated that it would organize a commission of community leaders, government officials, and Ascendant representatives to ensure compliance with the agreement. The government also announced a plan to begin a study of the region with the objective of determining a permanent resolution to the problems in the area. In the interim, Ascendant will continue to supervise activities of its remaining personnel to ensure compliance with the agreement and the Company's policy of non-violence.

Ascendant views the signing of the agreements as a positive step forward by bringing the government into the process, guaranteeing access to the area by any individual, and reducing conflict in the area.

Ascendant Vice President James Stonehouse commented, "This will be a tough blow for the many local residents who have worked hard on community, social and agricultural projects for the Company. We are convinced that the government's subsequent review of the social issues in the area will reveal a large majority of the population in support of development and the benefits in education, healthcare, job training, and improved living standards that this environmentally responsible development will undoubtedly bring."

This marks an historic step in Ecuador's progress in developing a modern mining industry. Gary E. Davis, President of the Company stated, "We are appreciative and encouraged by the involvement of both the government of Ecuador and the Provincial government and view this as positive initial steps towards resolving a difficult situation. The representative of the Minister of Government has made it clear that decisions regarding the future of mining in Intag and the rest of the country will be made at the national level, after duly considering all the benefits and risks to all Ecuadorians, and not left in the hands of a few who are only concerned with local issues."

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