QUITO – The state mining companies of Ecuador and Chile have concluded an agreement to exploit the Llurimagua copper deposit in the northern Ecuadorian province of Imbabura.
The documents were signed in Quito by the head of Ecuador’s Enami, Stevie Gamboa, and the CEO of Chilean copper giant Codelco, Nelson Pizarro.
Also present for the occasion were Chilean Mining Minister Aurora Williams and her Ecuadorian counterpart, Javier Cordova.
The contract provides for the establishment of a joint venture in which Enami will hold a controlling stake of 51 percent.
The agreement with Chile is fundamental, Cordova said, since it represents a step forward in the development of “responsible mining” in Ecuador.
Williams pointed to the recent expansion of Ecuador’s mining sector, noting that between 2010 and 2014 the country’s share in global copper production “has grown more than 350 percent.”
Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, accounts for 31 percent of international output of the red metal.
“We have made available all our experience in an alliance that we fully value,” Williams said. “We celebrate this step, a bridge of labor and collaboration in the development of a project under the highest standards.”