The construction of the mining project advances with the construction of tunnels that lead to the deposit. 300,000 ounces per year will be processed.
The Fruta del Norte project (FDN) will initiate gold production by the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020. Meanwhile, construction work continues on access tunnels to the mine located in Los Encuentros parish, canton Yantzaza, province of Zamora. Chinchipe.
Two tunnels are currently being built leading to the project’s gold deposit. They bear names in Kichwa and Shuar languages of K’isa (fruit) and Kuri (gold), respectively. Its advance is 1,000 meters of the 3,000 expected.
Once the construction phase has been completed and gold production has begun, the useful life of the mine will be approximately 25 years. Winer Bravo, Manager of Social Responsibility and Communities of Lundin Gold, company in charge of the construction of FDN, explained that when full production begins, an average of 300,000 ounces of gold will be obtained per year (between 3,500 and 3,600 tons of material per year).
This is a strategic project in Ecuador with which the mining exercise begins on a large scale, in an underground gold deposit. “We try to carry out a responsible mining in all areas: technical, constructive, environmental, relations with the community and compliance with regulations,” said Bravo.
In order to make the information transparent, Ludin Gold constantly invites national and foreign media to know the progress of the work.
In addition, in coordination with the Technical University of Loja provides support to receive training in mining reporting. “Everyone can know how the project is being developed,” added Bravo.
The Mining Law establishes that once the project has been completed, there must be a closure of the mine that involves a process that forces the maximum restoration of the conditions in which the site was originally located. For this, Lundin Gold has an environmental remediation plan. The relationship with the population in the area of influence is permanent.
The Canadian company constantly recruits local labor, in addition to acquiring local products, which at the same time energizes the economy of the parish. Employment places total 2,300 people, including contractors.
Entrepreneurship generated by the presence of the Catering Las Peñas project is a company that provides food, cleaning and laundry services to Lundin Gold. 240 people work there, of which 87% are inhabitants of Zamora Chinchipe’s area of influence.
Jorge Granda, president of the enterprise, explained that its creation is based on three pillars: the hiring of local labor, skilled and unskilled; contracting of local goods and services; and the development of value-added ventures.
Another very peculiar case is that of Luis Gualán Minga, from the Saraguro canton. Since March 2015, he joined Lundin Gold and works in the area of industrial safety: he inspects the areas and controls that everyone uses the safety equipment. Together with his wife and nine children, they live in the El Pindal community, close to the project and thanks to his work he has been able to educate and feed them. Two of them work with one of the contractors.
He is currently undertaking a fish farming project. Like him there are several inhabitants of this community who work in the mining company. “In the Pindal now people start, there are community eateries; the presence of these companies generates income, 80 people are benefiting, “said Gualán.
Agreement with the Shuar Federation
The Shuar Federation has an agreement and 14 specific agreements with Lundin Gold. These communities support the development of the mining industry, but want to be important and relevant actors within it, according to Rubén Naichap Yancur, president of the Shuar Federation of Zamora Chinchipe.
He assured that the Shuar seek to develop with identity, learn from technology and promote productive projects to integrate into the value chain. “We support a mining that takes care of the environment, respects nature and promotes the development of the people,” he said. (I)