Ecuador signs $2 billion contract with mining company for Mirador site

11 de abril de 2013 09:43

The Coordinating Ministry of Production and Labour (known as the Mcpec) has signed the largest foreign investment contract of the year with mining company Ecuacorriente S.A. Ecuacorriente will invest more than $2 billion dollars this year alone to develop their mining operation at the Mirador site in Zamora Chinchipe.

Mirador is an open pit gold and copper mine—the first open pit mine in Ecuador, and the largest mining operation in the country’s history. Ecuacorriente S.A. is a subsidiary of Corriente Resources Inc., a Canadian mining company based in Vancouver, B.C, which was bought by the Chinese Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group Holdings Co. in 2009.

According to China Daily, Tongling is Chinas second-biggest copper producer. They bough Corriente with China Railway Construction, the nations biggest railroad builder, for $652 million, for their control over various copper resources, including the Mirador land in Ecuador.

The Ecuadorian government says the contract will create 370 local jobs.

GlobalPost has reported that Mirador holds “2.35 million tons of copper, and generate estimated royalties for Ecuador of $5.4 billion.” According the GlobalPost, Ecuador’s Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE by its Spanish initials), says that this first open pit mine in Ecuador at the head water of the Amazon River “would lead to the ravaging of around 450,000 acres of spectacularly diverse cloud forest that is the ancestral territory of the Shuar people.”

Sheng Zhongyi, the spokesperson for the Canadian and Chinese Ecuacorriente investors, says that signing the contract demonstrates the company’s confidence in Ecuador, and that it will lead to even more money coming in to the country.

Last Monday, investment contracts were also signed with foreign companies Holcim, Surpapelcorp, Promopesca y Mastercubox. In January and February, Swissgas del Ecuador S.A., Templavid S.A and Tenaris S.A. (extranjera) also signed on to invest in Ecuador.

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