* 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 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)