QUITO – President Rafael Correa signed an executive order Monday chartering a state enterprise, Enami EP, to manage the exploitation of minerals and other non-renewable natural resources.
Though headquartered in Quito, the company is authorized to establish offices or business units elsewhere in Ecuador and abroad, Correa’s office said.
Enami EP will have a mandate to ensure sustainable exploitation of Ecuador’s reserves of gold, silver, copper and iridium, with adequate protection for the environment and for the rights of communities.
To fulfill that goal, the company can create subsidiaries and enter into various kinds of associations with both Ecuadorian and international partners, the president’s office said.
The firm’s board will comprise representatives from the natural resources ministry, the planning department and Correa’s office. Ecuador’s Finance Ministry will fund Enami EP until the company becomes self-sustaining.
Enami EP was formed under a new mining law that reserves to the central government the authority to approve foreign companies’ bids for mining concessions and which requires 50 percent of the earnings from mining to be paid to Quito in the form of taxes and royalties.
In addition, under the new regulations, mining companies must present complete technical and environmental-impact studies before embarking on extractive activities and employ clean, cutting-edge technology. EFE