The mining industry in Ecuador is incipient, says Chilean expert on mining issues Gustavo Lagos. He says it because now Ecuador is opening up to the world and seeks to attract important investments that empower the mining industry. In his view, one of the biggest challenges facing the country is to dispel fears about mining activity. Last week, Lagos attended the Second Congress of Mining and Environment, held in Quito.
Excerpt from the interview to Gustavo Lagos
Q: What is responsible mining?
A: It is an activity that produces the least possible environmental impact. There will always be impacts. If someone believes that mining can be done without impacts, he is wrong. Any human activity has an environmental impact. What needs to be ensured is that these effects are minimal. That must be achieved with sufficient knowledge and experience.
Q: the Corporate social responsibility of is an obligation …
A: Indeed, it is an obligation. It is something that has been learned over the past 25 years. Social responsibility is not an annex of the mining project, but part of it.
Q: What opportunities does the country have to achieve technological development in mining?
A: The companies that know how to do high-quality mining are a few, maybe 20 or 30 in the world. One of the Government’s concerns should be at least one or two schools at the university level and another at a technical level to train people who will work in mining, professionals, and workers.
Q: Is a public-private alliance more convenient?
A: Mining is like marriage. Multinational companies and countries get married, and this is a long-term contract. (I)