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Message: Ecuador Gov policy ..risk!

Ecuador Gov policy ..risk!

posted on Feb 03, 2010 12:00PM

Re: Fruta del Norte

in response to Fruta del Norte by monmick
posted on Jan 29, 10 02:53AM

From a Kinross release today...

Kinross upgraded mineral resources at Fruta del Norte (FDN) in Ecuador in 2009 as planned, declaring a measured and indicated gold resource of 5.7 million ounces grading at 11.2 grams of gold per tonne, plus aninferred resource of 6.1 million ounces.

That must be why their stock crashed so hard today...LOL!

I don't remember where I read this (probably IKN), but some native group was challenging Ecuador's foreign ownership law as it relates to mining. The upshot was that only Ecuadorean owned resource companies could operate within so many (I think it was 40) kilometers of the border. Aurelian is inside that zone. The basis of their argument is the fact that although Aurelian is a registered Ecuadorean company, that's really only legal slight of hand designed to circumvent the law and it isn't, in fact, owned by Ecuadoreans as the law stipulates. Now, I have no idea if this challenge will even make it to court or if so what the outcome will be, but it's just one more caution on investing in Ecuador.

My gut feeling tells me Kinross is never going to mine FDN, at least not to the satisfaction of its shareholders. Ecuador is on a downhill slope from which it will be very hard to recover. Their oil production is in decline, their economy is in the tank, and it's far too late to attract the kind of foreign investment needed to get a robust mining industry going along the lines we talked about way back in the days before the 2008 crash.

Companies presently working there are IMO, sitting ducks. When they've spent enough money and their projects are well underway, they're either going to lose them, or be taxed into the ground. I don't see this as a conscious plan mind you, just the most likely outcome of a desperate government with a sinking economy on its hands, and very few options to correct that

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