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UPDATE 1-Solgold CEO handed shareholder rebuke at annual meeting

(Adds background on Cornerstone)

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Gold and copper miner Solgold Plc’s chief executive Nick Mather was handed a strong rebuke on Thursday, with nearly half of votes cast against his reappointment to the miner’s board at its annual shareholder meeting.

Solgold, backed by BHP and Newcrest , has sparred with two of its largest shareholders over funding for its mammoth Ecuador copper-gold project.

Nearly half, or 44.7%, of shares eligible to be cast at Thursday’s annual meeting were voted against reappointing Mather to the board, a company filing showed.

The Ecuador-focused company agreed in May a financing package of up to $150 million and a $15 million bridge loan for its Alpala project with streaming company Franco-Nevada , defying Newcrest, which had urged it to raise funds via equity.

Solgold did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shareholder Cornerstone Capital Resources Inc, which owns a 7.5% stake, called in July for a complete overhaul of the miner’s board, a move Mather had called “unnecessarily destablising.”

Reporting by Jeff Lewis; Editing by Richard Pullin

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