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NEWS SEPT 14
Sep 14, 2009 06:40PM
Ecuador Will Allow Mining Exploitation In 2012
17:16 EST Monday, Sep 14, 2009
QUITO (Dow Jones)--Ecuador's Mines and Oil Minister Germanico Pinto saidMonday mining exploitation in Ecuador will begin in 2012.
"In Ecuador mining activity is in a stage of advanced exploration and it willcontinue," Pinto said at a press conference.
Pinto said that next year the government will start negotiations with privatecompanies to sign contracts for exploitation, but he didn't outline theconditions for those contracts.
In April of last year Ecuador's Constituent Assembly, then acting as thelegislature, froze mining-sector activity by revoking around 80% of miningconcessions and by suspending the other 20% for 180 days.
In March 2009, the Ecuadorian government authorized Corriente Resources Inc. (ETQ) and Kinross Gold Corp. (KGC) to resume their operations in Ecuador, after anearly 11-month hold on mining activity in Ecuador.
The government has said the new mining law, approved early this year, willopen the door to a potentially lucrative and underdeveloped industry in thecountry and that the country's mineral potential could amount around $110billion.
Local units of Corriente Resources (ETQ), Kinross Gold Corp. (KGC),International Mineral Corp. (IMZ.T), Iamgold Corp. (IAG), Spirit ExplorationInc. (SPXP), Mariana Resources Ltd. (MARL.LN), among others, currently havemining concessions in Ecuador.