Ecuador Oil and Mines Minister Galo Chiriboga told the press Monday that mining concessions on 2.08 million hectares out of a total of 4.5 million hectares have been revoked.
Companies impacted include All Metals Mineria, Atlas Moly S.A., Santa Barbara Copper and EcuadorGold, according to a Dow Jones Newswire report.
However, Mineweb was unable to find contact information or listing for All Metals Mineria, Santa Barbara Copper and EcuadorGold. Atlas Moly S.A. did not respond to Mineweb's request for comment by deadline Monday night.
President Rafael Correa froze all mining exploration in the country in April and revoked hundreds of concessions. At the time, he declared that a mining mandate enacted by Ecuador's Constitutional Assembly will revoke all those concessions that were made illegally, haven't generated any investment and are used for speculations. He also added that some working mining concessions would be suspended for six months until new contracts are negotiated.
The decree mandates that each company will be allowed to have only three concessions.
However, Stephen J. Kay, President and CEO of International Minerals Corp., told the New York Society of Securities Analysts metals and mining conference last week, We think the market's going to be pleasantly surprised when they see this new mining law. Nevertheless, he explained that it is not certain if the government may allow companies to keep multiple mining concessions by combining them if the total meets the 15,000 hectare limit.
Kay told the analysts that the company hopes to have its Rio Blanco gold mine operating by 2010 with its Gaby gold project operational by 2013.