The government of Ecuador is ready to sign exploitation and investment contracts with several foreign mining companies as per the Minister of Non-Renewable Natural Resources, Wilson Pastor.
Mr Pastor said that about five foreign mining companies are considering investing almost $4 billion in the country over the next five years.
The Energy and Mining Minister added that Ecuador was to give out new mining concessions in 10 areas in the last quarter of this year. The nation has a nascent mining industry and has implemented a new mining law in April 2008 to gain more royalties from its mineral wealth.
U.S. and Canada based companies produce copper, gold and silver from mines in Ecuador. Kinross Gold, a Canadian company is hoping to develop the largest gold project in the country at Fruta del Norte. The project has proven and probable minerals resources estimated at 6.8 million ounces of gold and 9.1 million ounces of silver. The construction on site is likely to begin in 2012.
President Rafael Correa is ensuring that the administration of Ecuador also negotiates deals with EcuaCorriente, the local unit of Canada's Corriente Resources Inc. for its Mirador project and the local unit of International Minerals Corp. for its Rio Blanco project.