McGill Research Group Investigating
Canadian Mining in Latin America

Curipamba Sur, Ecuador

Key Data

Company:Salazar Resources Operational status:exploration Materials extracted:silver, copper, gold Type of mine:open pit Main issues:community relations, water


In October of 2007 local community groups confronted the mining company Curimining SA, stating that it had no right to operate in the area due to lack of appropriate consultation, failure to recieve the permission of the Las Naves mayor (a requirement to operate), not carrying out an environmental impact study, and failure to comply with county law regarding mining operations (Law 033)[i]. Activists have also stated that the project will seriously impact water quality and biodiversity in the region[ii]. On October 4th the communities of Las Naves, Guranda and Echandía closed all access roads to the camp and demanded that the company leave immediately[iii]. In 2008 Curimining saw its concession suspended as part of a national moratorium on open-pit mining while a new mining law was being formulated[iv]. The Ecuadorean government also cited the lack of an appropriate environmental impact assessment as a cause for Curimining`s concession being suspended[v]. However, in June 2010 Curiming had six of its concessions (totalling 30 000 hectares) in Las Naves region approved by the Ministries of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources along with the National Water Secretariat, allowing them to resume operations in the region, leading 800 local campesinos to occupy the mine site on the 25th of Jun before being forcefully evicted by police four days later[vi]. In September 2010 the communities of Bolivar province voted overwhelmingly to declare their region free of mega-mining[vii]. Exploration, as well as large scale protests in region against the mine has continued in 2011 and 2012, including a march in San Luís de Pambil  to voice opposition to Curimining SA’s (now Salazar Resources) operations in the region and warn neighbouring communities about the risks the mine poses to the local water supply[viii].

[i] Mining Confronts Bolivar Province. Mines and Communities. http://www.minesandcommunities.org//article.php?a=8249

[ii] Ibid. 

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Se extinguen 335 concesiones mineras. Hoy. http://www.hoy.com.ec/noticias-ecuador/se-extinguen-335-concesiones-mineras-322279.html

[v] Ibid.

[vi] Peasants occupied mining camp in Las Naves and were evicted by police. El Comercio. http://www.minesandcommunities.org/article.php?a=10277

[vii] Inicia paro indefinido en sector Las Naves, provincia de Bolívar. Conflictos Mineros. http://www.conflictosmineros.net/contenidos/12-ecuador/5692-inicia-paro-indefinido-en-sector-las-naves-provincia-de-bolivar

[viii] Marcha y rechazo a minería en San Luís de Pambil. No a la Mina. http://www.noalamina.org/mineria-latinoamerica/mineria-ecuador/marcha-y-rechazo-a-mineria-en-san-luis-de-pambil