QUITO – Ecuador has identified the mining industry as one of the engines of economic growth over the next few years, with projects worth about $3.1 billion planned in the sector over the next three years, Strategic Sectors Minister Rafael Poveda said.
Five large projects are in various stages of development, showing “the world” that Ecuador “offers all the conditions to be a player in the mining industry on a large scale at the global level,” Poveda said.
Officials estimate that when the projects are all operating in about five years, Ecuador’s mining exports will total about $4 billion annually and the government will receive $400 million in revenues yearly, Poveda said in a press conference with foreign media on Monday.
Empresa Nacional Minera, meanwhile, is developing eight other projects to produce copper, gold and other metals.
The projects are currently in the exploration phase and private foreign investment will be needed to develop them, the minister said.