Ecuador President Rafael Correa said he will not back down from a recently approved law that encourages mining and has sparked protests by Indians and environmentalists.
The new law slaps royalties on mining companies and lifts a nine-month ban on exploration that hurt the stock price of companies operating in the Andean nation. Foreign mining companies have found massive gold, silver and copper deposits in southern Ecuador.
It is necessary to propel responsible mining," Correa said during his state of the state to the assembly. "I will not back down on the mining law." The law sets at least 5% royalties based on sales and boosts government controls over the nascent sector.