International news within the industry of mining and metal, Dec, 17 2018
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Mining in Ecuador is decided in a referendum 

Lundin Minings Candelaria mine in Chile. Photo: Lundin Mining
Lundin Minings Candelaria mine in Chile. Photo: Lundin Mining
Published by
Markku Björkman - 05 Mar 2018

Gloria Chicaiza is a mining expert in the environmental organization Acción Ecologica, which demands that Lundin's gold mine in southern Ecuador be stopped.
Pedro Bermeo is a spokesman for the environmental movement Yasunidos, who is struggling to stop oil extraction in Yasuní National Park in Ecuador's rainforest.

In Ecuador, a referendum was held recently, which is primarily about restricting the president's opportunity to resign.

But at the same time, the Ecuadorians will also take a stand to prohibit oil and mining in nature reserves, a decision that may affect the Swedish mining company Lundin.

"A yes in the referendum is a victory for the environmental movement and a clear message to politicians:" We want alternatives to mining and oil extraction, "said Pedro Bermeo, spokesman for the Yasunidos movement, protesting the oil extraction in Ecuador's Yasuní National Park.

One of the seven questions in today's referendum is to prohibit mining and oil extraction in protected areas. Although Pedro Bermeo does not think it will stop oil extraction in Yasuni Park, it means future protection.

"If the next president finds oil or copper on the Galapagos Islands, for example, they will not be able to exploit," said Pedro.

He is convinced that President Lenín Moreno included the environmental issues in the referendum because he wants to attract more, especially young people, to vote yes to the main question: to limit the opportunity for the president to be re-elected more than once, blocking the opportunities for his rival, ex-president Rafael Correa to return to power.

"But because the government uses us to attract voters, we will also demand that they take their responsibility and stop the mines that have been landed in protected areas. An example is Swedish Lundin's gold mine, says environmental activist Gloria Chicaiza, a mining expert at Acción Ecológica.

- Lundin's gold mine is located in an area previously protected. The limits were withdrawn because the company asked for it, says Gloria Chicaiza.

Source: Swedish Radio