Correa: Ecuador Govt Doesn't Plan on Taking Back All Concessions

President Rafael Correa said Thursday that his government doesn't plan on taking back all of the concessions that had been awarded in the mining, oil and hydroelectric sectors.

Several groups have pressured the Correa government to do so.

"The position of some sectors who are requesting the total reversion of the oil, mining and hydroelectric concessions is an absurdity. The country needs to develop those sectors," Correa told journalists.

A commission of the nation's Constituent Assembly, which is also acting as the legislature, is currently studying four proposals for changing mining sector laws.

Two of those proposals would declare the end to all mining concessions, which would immediately will revert to the state.

Another proposal, from the Mining and Oil Ministry, asks for a reversion of concessions in which companies didn't invest in its exploration stage until Dec. 31, 2007.

For companies that invested, the Ministry proposes negotiations to change those contracts and gave a term of one year to finish talks, otherwise the concession will revert to the state.

Last month, the government revoked 587 mining concessions of local and foreign companies.

The subsidiaries of Canada's Ascendant Cooper Corp. (ACX.T), EcuaGold Resources (EGR.V), IamGold Corporation (IAG), Mariana Resources (MARL.LN) and French company Lafarge Cementos, among others, lost some of their concessions in Ecuador, according an official list provided by Mining and Oil Minister Galo Chiriboga.

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