Ecuador Has Big Plans for Its Mining Industry. But at What Environmental Cost?

Ecuador Has Big Plans for Its Mining Industry. But at What Environmental Cost?
An indigenous woman from the Amazon protests the environmental policies of President Lenin Moreno’s government, in Quito, Ecuador, March 12, 2018 (AP photo by Dolores Ochoa).

In mid-July, government officials inaugurated operations at the sprawling Mirador mine in southern Ecuador. An open-pit copper, gold and silver mine in the Zamora-Chinchipe province near the Peruvian border, Mirador’s reserves reportedly include 3.2 million tons of copper, 3.4 million ounces of gold and 27.1 million ounces of silver. The amount of copper makes it Ecuador’s largest copper mine, but still smaller than the massive copper mines in Chile and Peru. The mine, which can already produce 10,000 tons of minerals per day, is expected to increase its output to 60,000 tons per day and potentially earn the Ecuadorian government […]

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