The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ecuador to halt new mining concessions temporarily

Reuters, January 15: Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on Tuesday asked a powerful assembly rewriting the constitution to halt the granting of new mining concessions to better control the country`s nascent sector. In a speech to mark his first year in office, Correa told the assembly, controlled by his party, to "suspend mining concessions until we have a new mining law."

The leftist government is planning to introduce later this year a series of reforms to the mining law to boost state participation in deals and tighten environmental control. Ecuadorean law makes it almost impossible for the government to reject requests to grant mining concessions.

Ecuador has little precious metal output, but dozens of foreign firms including Canada`s Aurelian Resources Inc and Corriente Resources Inc are exploring for gold and copper in the South American nation. Ecuador has awarded nearly 4,000 concessions, or 2.9 million hectares, angering environmentalists and some community activists who say mining projects pose a threat to nature.

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