Throughout our lives, especially within the professional and corporate sphere, we are constantly making plans. These plans, in theory, should be related to the different challenges and opportunities we have or plan to have. However, the most important aspect of these plans is that we can execute them. Doing so signifies an achievement of objectives, beyond the results.
In October 2020, the Ministry of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources (now the Ministry of Energy and Mines) developed and enacted the Mining Sector Development Plan 2020-2030. According to Minister René Ortiz Durán, the goal of this plan was to contribute to the fulfillment of both national and global objectives. It also represents a strategic vision for the development of the mining sector through the implementation of harmonious, efficient, transparent, and sustainable industry management.
On the other hand, in August 2021, through Presidential Decree No. 151, the Action Plan for the Ecuadorian Mining Sector was issued, which determined public policies to promote the sector’s development. These policies have been fundamental for certain decisions and actions of the government of Guillermo Lasso.
Now that the electoral campaign has ended, and Daniel Noboa has been elected, it is advisable to look back and review the plans proposed for the mining industry.
The “Multi-year Work Plan for the President and Vice President of the National Democratic Action Alliance” consists of 76 pages, and it emphasizes that investment in strategic sectors is a priority for national economic growth. It will promote the development of activities in hydrocarbons, mining, energy, electricity, telecommunications, water resources, and the environment. Regarding the topic we are analyzing, the ADN movement established three actions: i) promoting national mining production through delegation to private initiatives, cooperatives, and associations of popular and solidarity economy; ii) regularizing artisanal activities so that participants can affiliate with the IESS (Social Security Institute) and have access to healthcare and loans to improve their living conditions; and iii) conducting controls against illegal mining, coordinated by the armed forces and national police, to dismantle the involved mafias and gangs.
Apart from the legal nuances that the industry is currently facing, especially before the Constitutional Court, President-elect Noboa has the legal resources to carry out his Work Plan. However, it will be crucial for him to have a qualified team that, along with his political will, can implement what has been planned. We don’t know if they will plan something new, but it is essential that there is a clear work plan for the 18 months of his term to provide some certainty to one of the few sectors that can truly inject foreign direct investment into the country.