https://www.engineeringnews.co.za
Copper|Environment|Gold|Mining|Projects|SECURITY|Environmental
Copper|Environment|Gold|Mining|Projects|SECURITY|Environmental
copper|environment|gold|mining|projects|security|environmental

Mining industry sees a way to navigate narco crisis in Ecuador

12th January 2024

By: Bloomberg

  

Font size: - +

Ecuador’s budding mining industry sees a way through the violent mayhem sweeping the country, with operating mines and development projects expected to carry on as planned after stepping up security measures.

Mines owned by Lundin Gold and China’s Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group continue to churn out gold and copper at normal rates even as residents hunker down at home in a war on drug gangs declared by President Daniel Noboa, said mining chamber boss Maria Eulalia Silva. Projects being developed by Adventus Mining and Dundee Precious Metals are set to receive $1-billion as they near production.

“There’s an increase in the cost of production due to security issues, but those millions have been raised on the stock market and they’re waiting to be invested in the next projects, which need to go ahead soon — we hope this year,” Silva said in an interview late Wednesday.

Images of prison riots, police taken hostage and masked gunmen taking over a live TV broadcast pose yet another obstacle to Ecuador finally taking its place as a major mining nation. But not an insurmountable one, Silva said. No company has decided to exit due to the security crisis, and the industry is working closely and smoothly with authorities, she added.

Still, widespread illegal mining has put the industry under pressure, tarnishing its reputation along with imposing a significant environmental and human toll.

Noboa’s emergency measures, which allow police and soldiers to use lethal force against gangs, “is the way to stop and unmask those groups intimidating the formal, responsible industry,” Silva said. “They’re narco-miners, not illegal miners.”

REGULATORY BOOST

Aside from the violence, the country’s regulatory environment has seen some recent improvements. The Constitutional Court helped to clarify rules governing prior consent for mining projects, and permitting has accelerated at the environment ministry, she said.

Noboa has included two market-friendly reforms in a list of questions for a national referendum, asking voters to approve temporary labor contracts and international arbitration, likely to be decided in March.

The government’s wording of a question on illegal mining, allowing concessions to be revoked in areas deemed of “national interest” however is risky and misguided, Silva said. “To revoke duly awarded concessions won’t stop illegal mining,” while Ecuador’s constitution doesn’t include the national interest as a legal concept, she added.

Approval of the questions from the Constitutional Court is required for Noboa’s referendum to go ahead.

Edited by Bloomberg

Comments

Showroom

Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East
Weir Minerals Africa and Middle East

Weir Minerals Europe, Middle East and Africa is a global supplier of excellent minerals solutions, including pumps, valves, hydrocyclones,...

VISIT SHOWROOM 
Rentech
Rentech

Rentech provides renewable energy products and services to the local and selected African markets. Supplying inverters, lithium and lead-acid...

VISIT SHOWROOM 

Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
PLUS
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?

MAGAZINE & ONLINE

SUBSCRIBE

RESEARCH CHANNEL AFRICA

SUBSCRIBE

CORPORATE PACKAGES

CLICK FOR A QUOTATION







sq:0.161 0.219s - 160pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now