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Ecuador and Mining: The mining minister speaks (and says very nice things)

Pinto (for it is he)

A significant interview with Germánico Pinto, Ecuador’s Mining Minister, was published today by ALBA press. You still think Ecuador is against mining? You think foreign companies are not welcome? You think mining isn’t going to happen in Ecuador? If so, you live in World Of EpicFail. What you’re about to read is a man who’s clearly gearing up the country for the imminent arrival of modern mining to Ecuador. And Canadian mining companies are fully welcome. Don’t say I didn’t tell yaz, dudes.

The IKN Weekly Subscribers got the following full translation of interview (done by yours truly) sent to them just after 1pm EST. They had three hours of open market to act on this. Now the market is closed it’s your turn to copypaste, stick it on a bullboard without a link (as per usual) and claim kudos for yourself. Enjoy.

The New Mining Law Allows the State to Control Non-Renewable Natural Resources

The Minister of Mines and Petroleum, Germánico Pinto, in an interview given to ALBA, stated that the with new mining law the State gains the capacity of control, regulation and management of non-renewable natural resources.

The minister also explained that an effective system of royalty collection has been established for the exploration and exploitation of concessions so that they can be redistributed to the communities that may be affected by mining projects.

Among other things, Pinto emphasized the need the socialize the sector, to have integral and effective plans and to have all sectors involved in the decision-making process to avoid affecting the environment, to push forward with the creation of he new State Mining Company, to identify the benefits of responsible mining and the new mining project envisaged for the country.

Q: What are the changes contemplated by the new mining law proposed by the government?

The important point of the new mining law is the establishment of new rules that allow the State to assume a regulatory and controlling role in all aspects of mining, as established in the constitution, to generate an adequate and effective direction of mining in Ecuador.

Q: How is the socialization (i.e. public awareness campaign) of the new law working?

We have spoken with many groups, communities, municipalities with a view to discussing the application of this law. We believe that it is important to converse with all people and indicate the way in which we propose having the dynamics of mining here in Ecuador. With the new law we will be more careful with the environment and communities that are around projects will be the first to benefit from those projects. Among the townships we have visited is Zamora, where we had dialogue with the Shuar community, mayors and the prefecture. It was an interesting dialogue with the small-scale miners. I think the way in which we continue these conversation allows us to be understood.

Q: Regarding the creation of the State Mining Company (Empresa Nacional de Minería, ENM), what are the objectives and benefits?

The ENM will be the equivalent of PetroEcuador (note: state oil company) in the mining sector. This entity will be charged with the control of the main mining projects and will run all the strategic agreements and alliances with different types of organizations, including the local communities, to achieve a better development of mining in Ecuador.

Q: What does ‘responsible mining without affecting the environment’ mean?

The environment will always be affected by any human activity. What we are looking for is responsible mining, with the least environmental effects possible, via the use of technology, by adequate mining methods and evidently in terms of safety of workers and security and health of localized communities.

Q: Have dialogues have been started with different communities regarding mining exploitation?

We have established a cluster of strategic projects around which we are going to begin this new project being put forward by the government in which the State has direct talks with the communities. We have started in the Zamora region and we are going to start in various zones of coastal Ecuador in order to develop in a correct way this process that is fundamental for the development of the country.

Q: What are the economic benefits once mining investments arrive in the country?

Ecuador is going to enter into an important process of resource management and once the exploitation begins it will mean an income flow for the State. But not only for the State, also for the communities that live around the projects. This is very important because it implies an effective change in the quality of life for the people in these zones.

Q: What are the new projects of mining exploitation that will start in the country?

We have various types of projects. Some are projects that are currently developing with Canadian companies, this due to the fact that in Ecuador we do not have much experience in the mining sector, but simultaneously we want to begin developing projects managed by the state via the ENM and in conjunction with other countries. For example with Chile and its CODELCO company we have an agreement to begin mining development in certain areas. Therefore we have many ways to establish the mechanisms through which we will develop mining exploitation. The State can also establish agreements with mining organizations in those zones we consider convenient. That is to say we have a wide and diversified vision in the way we are looking towards mining and we believe that mining must be developed here in Ecuador. At the moment we have agreements with Canada that has some investments that are beginning to happen, with Chile and we hope to amplify these agreements with several other countries.

Q: Will the ENM be charged with regulating and controlling the programmed mining projects?

No. The regulation and control of all aspects of mining will be done by the new Agency of Regulation and Mining Control (Agencia de Regulación y Control Minero). This new organization will, in the name of the State, have the task of regulating and controlling mining at all levels. The responsible and adequate development of mining is something that very much favours the State and Ecuador. We believe that by doing it in an adequate way, exactly the way we propose, taking into account care for the environment and that the communities obtain direct benefits from these projects, it will have a very positive and important impact to the future of Ecuador. For this reason we believe that in general terms the proposal of mining development we are putting forward is a proposeal that is totally different to the way mining has been managed up to now in Ecuador. We are building a different country, transforming our country and also its mining.

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