Lundin Gold Inc. ("Lundin Gold" or the "Company") has entered into partnerships with the Littoral Polytechnic School ("ESPOL") in Guayaquil and the National University of Loja ("UNL") to develop a range of programs to reinforce responsible mining and address the key challenges facing the local communities surrounding the Fruta del Norte gold project (the "Project"). Through these programs, students, teachers, researchers, local community members and Lundin Gold will work collaboratively on jointly-identified environmental and social initiatives. The partnership with UNL will focus on agricultural projects, while ESPOL and the Company will focus on working with artisanal miners, and promoting co-existence with large-scale mining operations.
"These partnerships are an essential aspect of large-scale responsible mining, and we look forward to demonstrating the benefits that these relationships can bring to local communities and the country," said Nathan Monash, Lundin Gold's Vice President of Business Sustainability. "Universities are key stakeholders as Ecuador becomes a leading mining jurisdiction. We look forward to working with ESPOL and UNL students and faculty as we implement project that demonstrate the value that responsible mining can bring to a significant group of stakeholders."
Nathan Monash, Lundin Gold's Vice President of Business Sustainability with Paola Romero, Dean of the Faculty of Earth Sciences of ESPOL; Cecilia Paredes Verduga, Chancellor of ESPOL and Paúl Herrera Samaniego, Vice Chancellor of ESPOL
Nathan Monash, Lundin Gold's Vice President of Business Sustainability with Kelly Montaño, Los Encuentros Parish President; Nicolay Aguirre, Chancellor of UNL; Segundo Márquez, Zamora Chinchipe Governor and Guido Masache, Yantzaza GAD Vice President
Lundin Gold management and university officials attended events in Guayaquil and at the UNL's research station in the parish of Los Encuentros to formalize these partnerships.
Cecilia Paredes Verduga, Chancellor of ESPOL, spoke about the importance of large-scale mining and the role of academia in opening additional opportunities for Ecuadorians within this industry. "We are celebrating this cooperative partnership and the benefits it will bring our students and faculty," she said at the event in Guayaquil.
Nathan Monash and ESPOL Chancellor Cecilia Paredes Verduga signing the cooperative partnership agreement in Guayaquil
During his speech in Loja, UNL Chancellor Nikolay Aguirre mentioned that putting this partnership in place creates a new and innovative platform for sharing knowledge in Ecuador, "both of our institutions want to work together to promote long-term sustainable development."
UNL Chancellor Nikolay Aguirre speaking at the cooperative partnership event in Los Encuentros
About Lundin Gold
Lundin Gold, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, is developing its wholly-owned Fruta del Norte gold project in southeast Ecuador. Fruta del Norte is one of the world's largest, highest-grade gold projects currently under construction. The Company's board and management team have extensive expertise in mine construction and operations and are dedicated to advancing this project through to first gold production in the fourth quarter of this year.
The Company operates with transparency and in accordance with international best practices. Lundin Gold is committed to delivering value to its shareholders, while simultaneously providing economic and social benefits to impacted communities, fostering a healthy and safe workplace and minimizing the environmental impact. The Company believes that the value created through the development of Fruta del Norte will benefit its shareholders, the Government and the citizens of Ecuador.
Follow Lundin Gold on Twitter @LundinGold