UPDATE 2-Ecuador to offer new mining concessions in Q4

Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:58am EDT

Related Topics

* Minister says concessions will be in 10 areas

* Government is in talks to secure higher royalties (Adds timing of Kinross project construction, paragraph 5)

QUITO, July 21 (Reuters) - Ecuador will offer new mining concessions in 10 areas in the fourth quarter of this year, Energy and Mining Minister Wilson Pastor told a conference in Quito on Thursday.

OPEC member Ecuador has a nascent mining industry, but it halted industrial mining activity in April 2008 to enact a new mining law and ensure more revenues for state coffers.

It is in talks with U.S. and Canadian companies to obtain higher royalties from copper, gold and silver mines in the Andean country. [ID:nN26239216]

Canadian company Kinross Gold (K.TO) plans to develop Ecuador's largest gold project, Fruta del Norte, which Kinross says has proven and probable mineral reserves estimated at 6.8 million ounces of gold and 9.1 million ounces of silver.

Pastor said the company would begin construction of the project in 2012. (Reporting by Santiago Silva; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio)

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