Fredy Salazar

CEO, Salazar Resources

Being located in the Andean mountains, Ecuador has great geological potential. As a result, many large projects 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 company 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 at Curipamba, and continued exploration there for several years also starting 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 in the 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 the feasibility studies and then start construction. 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 and the geology is some of the most prospective geology in the world. We also have a subsidiary in Colombia, where Salazar Resources has applied for five mining concessions in department of Nariño, with a total of 25,000ha.


Diego Benalcázar

SVP, Lumina Gold, and President, Luminex

The Cangrejos project is a world-class, large-sized gold-copper porphyry deposit. A total of 36,400m was drilled in the project in 2018. The Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) published in November 2018 highlighted an estimated inferred resource of 8.5 million ounces of gold, 1 billion of pounds of copper, 7.8 million ounces of silver, and 22.5 million pounds of molibdenum. It is estimated that the life of mine can be anywhere from 16-20 years, with a production of 373,000oz of gold and 43 million pounds of copper per annum. In 2019, we drilled an important area adjacent to the Cangrejos main deposit, Gran Bestia. which will significantly increase the mineral resource of this project. The next steps will be to run a drill program to determine if the two deposits are connected and can become a single open pit in the future. With this at hand, the PEA will be updated with a larger inferred mineral resource amount. In the next coming years, Lumina Gold will continue to advance the project to take it to the pre-feasibility, feasibility, and bankable stages. These steps will move the inferred mineral resource amount to a proven resource. We originally expected to be ready in six years but now expect to start production most probably in five years. Cangrejos could potentially become a large-scale mining project in Ecuador, similar to ongoing projects, such as Fruta del Norte or Mirador. Our strategy is not to drill other areas, but to complement the existing one. That is more effective. We see some infield opportunities between old drilling areas, and, as a result, we will conduct drilling operations there. We have also invested in geophysical and environmental initiatives, as well as with communities to improve the existing infrastructure around the project. Additionally, the communities around the mine are supportive of the project. There are five communities in total that live within the concession area, composed of some 700 people in total. We are offering them direct employment opportunities and an environment to thrive. There are hardly any future mines in the world with such location advantage as Cangrejos.


Alain Bureau

President, Atico Mining Corporation

Opening a mine in Ecuador has a large impact on its development. The government has a macro perspective, the miner sees the potential, and the communities have their own challenges. The key now in Ecuador is to bring all stakeholders together to openly discuss what responsible mining entails and how each party can benefit from it. Atico Mining is working on La Plata, a mid-sized mining project that has potential to grow alongside the community and country as the sector develops. It is a polymetallic project that has copper and gold, as well as some zinc. This is great because sometimes the prices of gold increase and copper falls, and other times copper rises and gold wanes; diversification can protect us from an unstable economy. As a company, we are extremely fortunate because our project is already at 2 million tons of high-grade ore at a gold-equivalent of 13g per ton. In addition, Atico Mining has a mine in Colombia called el Roble that is already operating and can give us all the necessary revenues to finance our studies and exploratory activities, which greatly reduce the risk for our investors. Especially in Ecuador, Atico Mining is working close to the community. The communication with the communities has to be direct and transparent. Today, one cannot disconnect communities and mining projects. Many of the communities where Fruta del Norte was developed did not have the resources to build a road, though they now have capacity to develop those projects thanks to the mine. We have to make them understand we are their partners, and we plan to work together to improve their lives; however, there is a need to understand that mining companies cannot replace public authorities in providing basic social services, although we can help. Atico Mining is interested in new concessions or projects that might take place in Ecuador. There are huge opportunities in the entire Andes area that has been barely touched, and in the next decade it will grow tremendously.


Dr. Keith M. Barron

Chairman & CEO, Aurania Resources Ltd.

Aurania is a junior exploration company listed on the Toronto Venture Exchange (ARU:TSX-V). I was co-founder of Aurelian Resources in 2001, which discovered the Fruta del Norte (FDN) gold deposit, just recently gone into production, and selected the properties both for Aurelian and more recently for Aurania, 100 km north of FDN in the same belt of rocks. The area we are exploring has never been looked at for minerals and such “virgin” areas are almost unheard of. We have so far identified 20 gold-silver epithermal prospects, numerous copper porphyry targets, a silver-lead-zinc replacement or “mantos” deposit, and an incredibly expansive copper-silver oxide discovery hosted in sediments that extends for a minimum of 22 km. Thus far, we have explored only about 55% of the concessions. We are hot on the trails of two “lost” gold mines of the Spanish Conquistadors that were active circa 1565-1605 called Logroño de los Caballeros and Sevilla del Oro. We believe these lie within our concession blocks. Historical research suggests that these were very rich mines. We are covering our entire land package with stream sediment analysis, an extremely sensitive geochemical technique that we used successfully to find Fruta del Norte in 2006. It is our belief that the two lost historic mines will no doubt have a geochemical expression that we will capture. We have been finding oxide copper, which is comparatively easy to mine and beneficiate compared to sulphide copper from a porphyry, which would require a concentrate to be sent overseas to a smelter. We have both types of possibilities; however, oxide copper could be a large front edge cash generator should we choose to go the mining route. Oxide copper is easily recovered with sulphuric acid and a solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) plant. We are a long way from mining today, still we are very excited about the possibilities that Ecuador could produce copper metal for the first time in its history. The future for copper looks bright as a “green” part of the electric vehicle revolution.


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