MAC: Mines and Communities

Stop or step down! Peoples say to Correa in Ecuador

Published by MAC on 2009-11-16
Source: Reuters, Northern Miner, Marketwire, El Pangui Cm. (2009-11-10)

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has signed off on a mining reform, to kick-start exploration, after ordering a review of mining laws, particularly with regard to foreign ownership. Multinational companies, awaiting this moment, are now claiming that everything is fine for them to re-start projects with some certainty. This is despite the fact that new regulations have not yet appeared in the government's official register, even though they have been signed.

The Committee in Defense of Nature, Health and Life, of the Canton El Pangui, has issued a statement, speaking for many who denounce the President, not just for ignoring the country's legislative framework, but also forcing mining upon communities without their consent.

ESPAÑOL

COMMITTEE IN DEFENSE OF NATURE, HEALTH AND LIFE OF THE CANTON El PANGUI

Press Release

4 November 2009

Considering that:

No landuse management plan has been made of the Cordillera del Condor through participatory means nor in coordination with local people and local governments, to determine that this is a mining area, and not one that should be for the conservation of nature and culture;

There is absolutely no respect for the proposed law by the Prefecture of Zamora Chinchipe to declare the province “The lungs of mother earth and a source of water and life”;

There is no resolution by the Constitutional Court of the case claiming the Mining Law unconstitutional, as presented by various national organisations, such as the CONAIE and the Water Boards in the province of Azuay;

The Mining Mandate in the region has not been executed and that the mining concessions of the Canadian companies Corriente and Kinross-Aurelian among others have not been reverted back to the State;

There has been no local transparent consultation process regarding these mining projects;

WE DECLARE

This province has been invaded, not only by the presence of the mining companies, but by an aggressive State action that promotes and presents the existence of strategic mining projects as an unquestionable given;

That since about two weeks ago, the national government has started social intervention strategies, such as various support programs in the areas of conflict, for example through: credits, technical assistance, workshops. Their objective is to weaken the social struggle that has been strong for more than three years in El Pangui and Los Encuentros;

That today El Pangui, as probably in all inhabited areas in the Cordillera del Condor, is bombarded with official information from the Ministry of Non-Renewable Natural Resources, via the document, “Ecuador Walks Forward”, which sells strategic State projects, namely transnational large-scale mining;

The government lies!!! Mining is not sustainable. It will affect our water sources. The 5% royalties will not, in the least, compensate for loses of our patrimony and the environmental liabilities that this kind of mining will generate. The mining law is unconstitutional and does not respect the criteria of the local population and their right to be consulted before the activity takes place;

Now it is no longer just the mining companies that use strategies of mis-information, it is the “State of Rafael Correa”!!!

Germanico Pinto and Rafael Correa represent the interest of the transnationals?

WE DEMAND

Mr. Correa, either stop selling out our natural resources!!! Or we demand you step down as President!!!



Corriente Resources: Advanced Development Work Authorized for Mirador Project

Marketwire

9 November 2009

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA - Corriente is pleased to announce that it has received a formal notification from the Ministry of Non-Renewable Natural Resources (formerly the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum) which establishes that the company is in full compliance with applicable legislation on its concessions and is authorized to restart all advance development work on the Mirador Project.

Shannon, CEO of Corriente, "We are looking forward to working closely with the Ministry as we move the Mirador Project forward in a just fashion that meets both the urgent local needs and fully addresses the important concerns of all stakeholders."


Kinross to restart Fruta del Norte exploration

The Northern Miner

10 November 2009

Vancouver - With newly minted mining regulations in place, Kinross Gold says the Ecuadorian Ministry of Nonrenewable Natural Resources has given it the green light to jumpstart exploration activity at its Fruta del Norte gold project.

Kinross got the project, in Zamora-Chinchipe province, Ecuador, through an $870 million acquisition of Aurelian in 2008 at time when mining prospects in Ecuador were at their lowest.

Ecuador's government had earlier in the year thrown a grenade at the country's mining and exploration industry in the form of a review of its mining laws. Investors fled and all exploration ground to a halt.

But with both a mining law and now concomitant regulations officially assented to by government, the country's mineral explorers, Kinross chief among them, can get back to work under a more or less transparent regulatory environment.

Kinross says it plans to start a 20,000 metre drill program in the near future at Fruta del Norte and predicts it will have a prefeasibility study of the project complete by January 2010. Fruta del Norte's inferred resource weighs in at 59 million tonnes grading 7.23 grams gold per tonne.

Exactly what the impact of the mining regulations will be on bottom lines of potential producers in Ecuador is still somewhat uncertain, however. The regulations, though signed, have not yet appeared in the government's official register.

Paramount among questions is how the government will deduct production costs and mining royalties as set out in a January 2009 mining law against its constitutionally mandated share of mining proceeds.

Article 408 of Ecuador's constitution, updated in Oct. 2008 following a referendum, states that the Ecuadorian state is to "participate in the benefits" from the exploitation of natural resources, minerals included, in an amount not less than those companies exploiting them.


Ecuador says could start mineral exports in 2012

Reuters

4 November 2009

QUITO - Ecuador could start exporting minerals in 2012 once the country's nascent mining sector moves into production, President Rafael Correa said on Wednesday, predicting the industry will propel economic development.

Correa signed a mining law reform on Wednesday that could help clear the way for gold, copper and silver exploration to resume in the Andean country, setting the stage for production and eventual exportation.

"The exportation of minerals will probably begin in 2012," Correa said during a public address on Wednesday. Exports will give development in the country a "decisive push".

Ecuador's biggest mining projects -- involving Canadian firms Kinross Gold, Corriente Resource and Iamgold -- have been paralyzed while the leftist government draws up rules to govern the sector aimed at giving the state more control over the country's natural resources.

Correa froze all major exploration operations in April of last year. (Reporting by Alexandra Valencia; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

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