“Being a mining country demands permanent work and evolution.”
Ecuador began its attempt to become a world-class mining country years ago and today it is on the verge of materializing it when it needs it most. The global crisis derived from Covid-19 and the inevitable decline in oil make the contribution of mining necessary.
The operation of two large-scale mines together with several projects of global appeal, as well as the consequent interest of international mining companies to establish themselves in the country, mark a clear momentum to aspire to consolidate the imposition with more investment and then production and income for the country. Already in the first part of this year, mining export revenues of 400 million dollars are three times what they were in the same period of 2019. The better prices that minerals are experiencing also help and reinforce the excellent opportunity that Ecuador start your mining takeoff right now.
But this is not the end of the road. Being a mining country demands permanent work and evolution along with the changes that society demands and the dynamism of the mining business itself. The experience of Chile can be interesting. Although its origin and evolution as a country are greatly influenced by mining, the challenges have never disappeared. Rather, they fluctuate with the rhythm of local and international political times.
One of the lessons of mining Chile that is worth mentioning when mining Ecuador takes off is that it is not easy to maintain the links of the large mines with the rest of the country. Due to their size, location, and technology, special attention is required so that the communicating vessels remain vigorous and become what they really are: an engine for the economic boost of the country.
A typical problem that has accompanied mining Chile is that of looking at mining as a “static” source of wealth, in other words, as if the contribution of the mines was always guaranteed. However, this view must be firmly fought since it is based on the ignorance of what the mining business is really like, which, like everyone else, is dynamic. The “static” look leads to stagnation since friction is generated where the investment environment is always under review and also politicizes the activity.
The virtuous alternative is to fully understand the mining business as occurs in mining powers such as Australia, where mining challenges are faced with innovation, entrepreneurship and an adequate balance between the private sector and the government. Only in this way, with a “dynamic” mining, as opposed to the “static” vision, is that the road to a consolidated mining country will have greater chances of progress.
On balance, Chile has seized its opportunity throughout history and mining has been, is and will be a fundamental pillar of its development. Ecuador is on that path.
Juan Carlos Guajardo, Executive Director Plusmining Chile
Translated with Google Translator