INVALUABLE INSIGHT

Ecuador 2020 | MINING | VIP INTERVIEW

As one of the only Ecuadorian mining companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, Salazar Resources has the experience and backing necessary to unlock the true potential of Ecuador's natural resources.

How has your personal experience been as part of Ecuador's mining sector?

The mining industry in Ecuador took off in 1985, when large foreign corporations arrived and started exploratory works. One of the companies that arrived was Newmont, which provided jobs for many Ecuadorean engineers and geologists. These engineers and geologists went on to acquire years of invaluable training and experience. I was part of this first mining wave in the country. At the time, there was a transition from oil exploration to mining exploration. I was working in oil projects when the mining projects arrived. During this period, I learned about the technical side of the business. Later on, Newmont sent me to Mexico, Peru, and the US so that I could bring back the experience I accumulated to Ecuador. I previously worked on a project in the La Zarza region, which has great potential for exploration. The Fruta del Norte project, a gold reserve considered as one of the five main strategic mining projects for the country, is located in the La Zarza region.

How is Salazar Resources currently involved in tapping Ecuador's mining potential?

Being located in the Andean mountains, Ecuador has great geological potential. As a result, many large reserves are being discovered in Ecuador. The main challenges in Ecuador are social and environmental issues, which are the same as in the rest of the world. However, in Ecuador, mining companies still have to work to create a culture of responsibility that can be filtered down across society, focusing on the fact that responsible mining with international standards can work to the benefit of the country, the same way it works in neighboring countries. In this context, Salazar Resources started its own projects in Ecuador, financed largely by international investors through a listing on the Toronto Venture Exchange in 2007. We made a new deposit discovery in Curipamba and continued exploration there for several years. We also signed joint venture agreements with foreign companies operating in Ecuador. Thus far, we have developed three projects, including the Curipamba project, a volcanogenic massive sulfide district located in central-west Ecuador's western mountain range, where the company owns seven concessions of about 30,000ha. We also have other projects in the exploration stage in Ecuador, which offers the investors of Salazar the great opportunity to obtain a new development project. In the short term, we will focus on our main discovery, the El Domo deposit in the Curipamba project. We expect El Domo to start operating in three years' time. Over this time, we will carry out feasibility studies and then start construction.

How is the company working on diversifying its project portfolio?

Our technical team is based in Quito, though our shareholders are in London and Canada. Our main objective is to keep making discoveries in Ecuador, as we have a competitive advantage by being Ecuadorian. The future prospects of Ecuador's mining resources are one of the highest in the world. We also have a subsidiary in Colombia, where Salazar Resources has applied for five mining concessions in the department of Nariño, with a total of 25,000ha.