Updated 09:54 PM EST, Mon, Nov 23, 2020

Ecuador's Major Gold Mining Project Waiting for the Green Light

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In March 2015, Lundin Gold announced that the Lundin Foundation has entered into an agreement to provide technical, vocational, and entrepreneurial training in Ecuador, just in time for the development of an Ecuador gold mine.

This agreement was anticipated by trainers at the Confederation College as they are going to help prepare the workforce to support a major mining project. According to the Northern Ontario Business, the Thunder Bay college signed a training agreement with Lundin Mining and the Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja to support the Fruta del Norte gold project that is currently in its advanced stages of development.

The college's vice president Don Bernosky said that Lundin is going through the permitting process, which will catapult mining development across the country in the future. He said, "We're looking at some strategies on how we want to deliver and operate. Until they actually get the green light to start this development, we're in a holding pattern at this point."

The Universidad Tecnica Particular de Loja is Ecuador's largest technical university, and is currently building a training center in Zamora, near the mine site. Confederation will be training the skilled and semi-skilled workforce for the operation.

As part of the negotiations, Canadian-Swedish miner Lundin has promised the Ecuadorean government that at least 80 percent of the mine's workforce will be Ecuadorean.

The college will be working hand in hand with the Lundin Foundation, part of the Lundin group of companies working on social responsibility endeavors and sustainable development in working with communities. Confederation will be training the workers for the mining operation.

On the training, Bernosky said, "We're doing the intake and getting an understanding of the level of preparedness relative to Canadian and international standards. How much, physically, we'll be doing has yet to determined."

He added, "They're very good to work with and very knowledgeable with operations globally. They're very progressive and operate under four pillars of sustainable looking at government relations, community engagement, supply chain development, and education and training."

The Financial Express has confirmed that there is a trend in gold import, noting that India, among other countries, has been turning to Latin America to meet gold demands. The outlet reported that "Several refiners have been importing gold doré bar, and refining in India at new facilities dedicated to the refining of doré - a semi-pure alloy of gold and silver." These dore bars are found in places like Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Colombia, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

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