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Located in the Andean Mountain range, Ecuador is the only country that has so far remained relatively untouched by mining activity. Less than 10% of its territory has been explored for this purpose, yet some of the biggest mines in the world are hought to lie in the country. Ecuador’s unquestionable mining potential and investment framework will be discussed at this event, as well as the vital importance for mining activity in Ecuador to have a special approach to sustainability in order to thrive.
PANEL I: INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN ECUADOREAN MINING
Consolidation of mining investments in Ecuador
Mining value chain
Exports and the impact of mining on the national economy
PANEL II: SUSTAINABLE MINING - THE WAY FORWARD
Sustainable practices of mining companies
Challenges of relationship between communities and mining companies
Coexistence with indigenous communities in areas of mining influence
Environment and mining; the challenge of respecting a biodiverse environment
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Juan Carlos Bermeo was appointed Minister of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources of Ecuador in June 2021. He is a civil engineer by profession and has postgraduate degrees in mediation and environmental conflict resolution, sustainable development, and negotiation, as well as a master’s degree in integrated management systems. With 40 years of experience in the oil and water sector, he has held various positions in the public and private sectors, among which include national director of hydrocarbons, manager of the maintenance project of OCP Ecuador, consultant of the Development Bank of Ecuador, consultant of the World Bank, and vice minister of hydrocarbons, among others.
Gustavo Manrique’s professional career and academic training provide him with a solid leadership profile and capacity for strategic influence, stimulating synergies that allow great contributions in work teams, as well as in the development of innovative environmental projects that contribute to the sustainable development of Ecuador. He has successfully served as founder & president of the International Environmental Summit - CIMA and the Latin America Green Awards, among others. Due to his capacity for strategic influence to achieve great contributions to the sustainable development of the country and the region, in 2020 he was recognized as one of the 100 most influential leaders in climate change in Latin America. He is an agronomist engineer from the Earth University of Costa Rica.
Francisco Briones currently serves as Cabinet Undersecretary General of the Government of Ecuador, where he manages the prioritized programs of the Presidency.
Along with his career, Mr. Briones has worked as a consultant and economic and data analyst. He is, additionally, a specialist in public policy analysis and development. He has conducted specialized and customized market studies with a strong focus on advanced data analytics.
Besides being an expert accredited by the Judicial Function in economics, he also dedicates time to postgraduate teaching. Mr. Briones has participated in various forums, interviews, and debates at the national and international levels on economic and public policy issues. He often writes about Ecuador's economy for his blog and other prestigious national and international media.
Roberto Salas is an Ecuadorian economist with more than 20 years of experience as director of multinational companies in Costa Rica, Brazil, Chile, and Ecuador. An expert in sustainability practices, he has dedicated his professional career to developing business projects within the framework of transparency, innovation, and the management of social and environmental impacts, skills that have earned him multiple international recognitions. Currently, as technical secretary, he has the great responsibility of promoting, attracting, facilitating, promoting, materializing, and maintaining national and foreign investment in public projects with private participation.
Álvaro Dueñas holds a PhD in jurisprudence from the Catholic University of Ecuador, with a postgraduate degree in negotiation and conflict management from Harvard University and a specialization in mining from Saint Vincent College, Alex G. McKenna School of Business. He is currently Country Manager for Ecuador of Adventus Mining Corporation, a Canadian mining company. His former positions include country manager for Ecuador of the Chilean state mining company CODELCO, founding partner of CONSENSOS®, undersecretary of Foreign Trade and Investment (2006-2007), certified mediator of the Arbitration and Mediation Centre of the Quito Chamber of Commerce, arbitration secretary of the Arbitration and Mediation Centre of the Ecuadorian-American Chamber of Commerce, consultant to the IDB, and legal and negotiation advisor to the Negotiating Team of the FTA with the US. He has over 20 years of experience in conflict management and community relations for several public and private companies.
Diego Benalcázar has over 30 years of experience in management, development, exploration, and production operations in the industrial and metallic mining industry, mineral property evaluation, and project acquisition throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. He is currently President of Luminex Resources and Senior Vice President of Lumina Gold Corp. Benalcázar holds a BA in geology from North Carolina State University, a diploma in physical anthropology, and an Executive MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition, he has postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics.
Ricardo Obando has 12 years of experience in the public and private sectors. He has been advisor to the Office of the Ministry of Mining and Ministry of Strategic Sectors, as well as director in the areas of social and environmental monitoring of the Secretariat of Hydrocarbons of Ecuador, Ministry of Environment. He has extensive experience in processes of control and articulation of public policy, plans, and programs in the sectors of mining, hydrocarbons, electricity, water, the environment, and telecommunications, with social and political actors, national authorities, private stakeholders, and decentralized autonomous governments. He is an expert in the formulation and design of dialogue and consultation processes between the public and private sectors.
Jason Ward is an exploration geologist with 25 years of experience. He has an extensive track record of successfully managing exploration teams working with a variety of cultures and populations in remote locations around the world. In Ecuador, he is the President of Exploraciones Novomining S.A., which manages the Cascabel Project and SolGold’s five other Ecuadorian subsidiaries.
Rodrigo Darquea joined BHP in 2006 at the Spence Copper mine development in Sierra Gorda. A year later, as part of the graduate program, he joined the marketing team in Singapore. In 2011, he returned to Chile as regional marketing manager, responsible for the Americas marketing team. In 2016, he joined the finance function as chief of staff to the CFO based in Australia, before moving to Brazil in 2019 to take on the role of head of corporate affairs there. Darquea also became an alternate director of the Renova Foundation. In 2021, and after nearly 20 years abroad, he returned to his hometown of Quito to lead the corporate affairs team responsible for BHP’s global exploration activities. In addition, Darquea has been a director of the Mining Chamber of Ecuador (CME) since 2021. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in finance from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, Chile.
A geologist by training, Scott Campbell has 25 years of progressive experience in the resource and construction industries in Latin America. He has served in senior leadership positions at Barrick Gold for 13 years in Argentina and Peru and was vice president of South American projects at Pan American Silver Corp. He holds a bachelor of science degree in Earth sciences from Dalhousie University and graduate degrees from Harvard Business School and UC Berkeley. His background has brought him to Ecuador to serve as Country General Manager, specifically to lead the development of the strategic Loma Larga project in Ecuador.