China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd. (CRCC) announced on March 6 that it was finally authorized to exploit the Mirador mine in Ecuador after a year-long talk with the Ecuador Ministry of Non-Renewable Natural Resources, ECUACORRIENTE SA, a company under the CRCC.
Based on an agreement that was concluded by ECUACORRIENTE SA and the ministry, ECUACORRIENTE SA will build a modern open-pit mine with a daily capacity of 60,000 tons of ore and an annual capacity of 20 million tons of ore before the end of 2016. Before the end of 2014, it will build the production capacity to process 30,000 tons of ore per day and 10 million tons of ore per year in addition to a 129MW hydropower station to support the mine.
This is the first mining contract on solid minerals since Ecuador's new constitution took effect. The contract will be effective once it is approved by the Chinese government.
The Mirador mine is one of 4 mines owned by ECUACORRIENTE SA. Its proven and controlled ore reserve is 660 million tons, including 3.49 million tons of copper, 112 tons of gold and 927 tons of silver. China Enfi Engineering Corporation is responsible for the mine’s design, and Sichuan Qingyuan Engineering Consulting Co., Ltd. (QYEC) will design the hydropower station. In accordance to a feasibility report, the project will cost a total of US $1.72 billion.