Ecuador to launch security program for mining projects

SolGold’s Cascabel copper-gold project in Ecuador, 180 km north of the capital Quito. (Image courtesy of SolGold.)

The Ecuadorian government is preparing a security program for mining assets.

As the country’s public-private partnerships secretary Roberto Salas told BNamericas, areas around mining projects will soon be declared special security zones. The policy is developed by the mining department, the public-private partnerships office, and the armed forces.

Mining projects have faced attacks and invasions by illegal miners or have had their access blocked.

The Mirador copper mine operated by EcuaCorriente and Fruta del Norte by Lundin Gold are Ecuador’s only large operating mines. However, some $11 billion in investments is expected for the mining industry in the next few years.

Ecuador expects to generate over $4 billion in annual mining exports by 2025, its mines and energy ministry said on Friday, estimating the industry could become the South American nation’s third best-selling sector for shipments abroad.