A group of small-scale gold mining companies in southern Ecuador are joining forces in a program to boost recovery rates and capture new markets, El Comercio (Ecuador) reported.
The program costs just more than US$50,000 and aims to increase recovery rates to some 90% from 50%, which will require importing US$10mn worth of machinery from Chile, Peru and Bolivia.
Marketing campaigns to export gold, silver and other metals to Peru, the US, UK, France, Spain and Italy are also included in the program.
The 47 companies in the Azuay and El Oro zones account for 16% of all legal mining operations in the country, in terms of the number of licenses issued.
Half of all program funds are coming from the Investment and Export Promotion Corporation (Corpei) while the other half is from the miners themselves.