Ecuador’s Minister of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources says holders of mining concessions can now drill on early-phase exploration projects in the country. Previously, drilling was only permitted during the advanced exploration phase and required an environmental licence.
Under the June 28 decree enacted by Minister Carlos Perez Garcia, concession holders can drill from up to 40 platforms on each concession as long as they obtain authorization for industrial water use from the National Water Secretariat.
Allowing scout drilling during initial exploration is positive news for the Ecuadorian mining industry and especially for companies that made investments within the concessions that were granted through the tender processes that started in 2016, Cesar Zumarraga, a partner at Tobar ZVS Spingarn, wrote in a legal bulletin for the firm.
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