Aurelian expresses confidence over Ecuadorian policies

Patrick Anderson, President & CEO of Aurelian Resources reports that “a very constructive mining forum took place earlier this week in Ecuador. This event confirmed our impression of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum under the new Minister, Galo Chiriboga, which we are finding to be balanced, consistent and pragmatic. In a press interview last week, Chiriboga came out strongly in favour of large-scale mining, provided that it was done in a socially and environmentally responsible way.”

On September 18, 2007 Galo Chiriboga led an international forum for presentation and debate of important issues relevant to the future of mining in Ecuador, with participation of mining experts from Canada, Chile and Peru. The meeting was open to all and was attended by some 400 participants, representing government, companies and communities. Keynote presentations were given by:

  • Minister Chiriboga
  • Christian Lapointe, Canadian Ambassador to Ecuador
  • Edgar Pillarjo, President of the Ecuador Small Mining Chamber
  • Dennis Jones, Director of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC)
  • Alberto Salas, National Mining Society of Chile
  • Paolo Abad, Consultant to the Peruvian government for mining legislation
  • Steve Vaughan, Partner at Heenan Blaikie and a Canadian expert on mining law

Dominic Channer, Aurelian Ecuador President commented “The event was very positive and well received. The ministry showed itself to be open to learning from the experiences of other countries. Aurelian and other Canadian companies are committed to working with the Ecuadorian government and people to construct the first large-scale, modern mines in Ecuador’s history, adhering to the highest standards of environmental, social, and cultural responsibility.”

Presentations included the contributions made by mining to local and national economies in Canada and Chile, with Salas commenting that mining areas in Chile have the lowest poverty levels and highest average wages in the country. In several speeches the importance of clear and stable legislation was emphasized. Salas said that the establishment of well-defined mining laws in Chile more than 20 years ago, followed by their consistent application has been key to the success of mining in his country.

Speeches were also made about the importance of public markets to mining development and transparent disclosure by mining companies, with the example of Canadian investment contribution to the growth of the Chilean mining industry. The issue of different types of royalties and taxes as well as stability agreements was discussed. The importance of Corporate Social Responsibility by companies, careful monitoring by government and proper conflict resolution was presented by Jones, who also provided the example of Tiberon Minerals, a company used by the Vietnamese government as a template for developing the country’s general mining policy.