Mining News

PDAC 2022: Ecuador hopes to churn its mining ‘wheel’ despite opposition     

Amidst talks of nationalization of mines and stricter regulations for miners in several jurisdictions across South America, Ecuador’s Energy Minister Xavier Vera promises a different path as the government aims to put about half-a-dozen projects into construction by 2025.  

In an exclusive interview with The Northern Miner at an event in Toronto during the PDAC conference, the minister said that the nation, which hosts about 18 million people, aims to export about C$9-10 billion worth of minerals by 2030.  

“I don’t think it’s a good thought,” said Vera when asked his opinion on nationalizing critical minerals. “The public sectors in most countries are not efficient, and that is why it’s very dangerous. Well, there are some exceptions, but that’s the general rule — at least in South America. 

“We are not on that path,” he added. “We want to be a government that can facilitate private investment. We think that the private sector should be driving the development of our country.”  

President Guillermo Lasso’s government has advocated for the growth of mining projects ever since it took power just over one year ago. While the country currently has two producing mines (EcuaCorriente’s $1.4 billion Mirador copper mine and Lundin Gold’s (TSX: LUG; US-OTC: LUGDF) $700 million Fruta del Norte operation), it aims to push five more into production in the next three years.  

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