Earlier this month SolGold attended “Ecuador Day” at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto. The day was an opportunity for the mining community of Ecuador to come together to showcase Ecuador’s great potential as a mining destination with competitive advantages and world class infrastructure. SolGold joined government officials, indigenous leaders, investors and fellow miners to celebrate the country’s progress and talk about the future of the mining industry. Speaking for the first time on the international stage, Ecuador’s new Minister of Mines, Rebeca Illescas said that she believes “the mining sector will become the second biggest driver of our economy over the next few years, after oil and gas”, and relayed the messaged that President Moreno has been “emphatic and clear that Ecuador will have responsible mining, and that’s good for everybody.” Minister Illescas told the crowd that she is committed to showing the government and Ecuadorean people the difference between large-scale responsible mining and artisanal, illegal mining. In the past year, there have been 28 new mining companies in Ecuador. Mining is fundamental to the Ecuadorean economy, however, the industry must be developed in a responsible and sustainable manner. Moreno and the Ecuadorean government have placed a huge importance on mining responsibly and will only work with international companies that have the highest standards of social and environmental standards. We are delighted that SolGold’s community and environmental work at Cascabel is used to demonstrate such standards. At a conference held in Ecuador post PDAC to discuss the conference’s key themes and outcomes Minister Illescas also addressed several factors to further improve the investment environment in Ecuador. Minister Illescas has pledged commitment to: improve the cadastre system of allocating concessions; work proactively with the Ministry of Environment to help streamline the permitting process; and improve the legal and tax regime by abolishing the windfall tax. SolGold is delighted to be working alongside Minister Illescas and the Ministry as Ecuador continues to develop a long-term and sustainable mining industry.
General Manager-Underground Development and Mining
Steve is an underground mining engineer with over 20 years of project development and operations experience at world-class, large-scale mines in Australia and Indonesia. His career is built upon large scale underground mine design, scheduling, project development, mine commissioning and ramp-up. His experience includes 10 years at the Freeport underground block cave Grasberg mine expansions during which existing underground mines were expanded and two new super block caves were developed. The depth of these mines and their scale have few precedents. His experience also includes mine project development and establishment of sub-level cave and operations execution and planning of large-scale open-stoping mines including Olympic Dam with BHP, Telfer sub level cave construction with Newcrest, Big Gossan Mine and Deep Mill Level Zone with Freeport Indonesia and Hilton and Enterprise mines with Mount Isa Mines.