Illegal mining operations in Ecuador down by 60%

Operation against illegal mining in Zaruma, southern Ecuador. (Image courtesy of ARCOM).

Ecuador’s Agency for Mining Control and Regulation ARCOM reported that illegal mining operations in the country went down by 60% during the period January-October 2019, compared to the same period in the previous year.

In an official document, the agency revealed that it carried out 418 campaigns aimed at dismantling illegal mining activities. Over 180 people were arrested and presented before the Attorney General’s office for prosecution. 

Depending on the size of the operation, illegal miners could face anywhere between one and seven years in prison, as per Ecuador’s Integral Penal Code. 

ARCOM also reported having seized 49 units of mining equipment and 628 tonnes of ore. The latter will be given to the National Mining Company to be processed and commercialized and the funds obtained from the sale will be delivered to the National Treasury.

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