The Mirador Mining Project is Ecuador’s first approach to mega-mining, and is run by Ecuacorriente S.A. (ECSA). It is the first open-pit mining operation and requires infrastructure that has never been built in Ecuador and involves risks of socio-environmental damage. Among these are the tailings deposits, which will remain on the site in perpetuity and have the potential to cause ecological and human catastrophes, such as the one that occurred in Brumadinho, Brazil, with 270 deaths and 6.8 billion dollars in repairs.


This case demands transparency in the divulging of the structural plans of the Mirador Mine Tailings dams which the company ECSA are saying are their intellectual property.


The mine has been a target of indigenous anger over forced community displacement, land disputes, and alleged violations of human rights. Additionally, the mine has engendered fear in its neighbors due to the construction and operation of large tailings and mine water dams and impoundments located in an area with known high seismicity, high topographic relief, high precipitation, and increasingly extreme storm events. E-Tech International, with the assistance of consultants David Chambers, PhD, and Steven Emerman, PhD, is responding to concerns over potential “imminent endangerment” of nearby communities from mine discharges and potential tailings dam failures.





The recommendation of this report is that there should be an immediate moratorium on further construction of the Mirador mine. The moratorium should be followed by the convening of an independent panel of international experts who will evaluate the design and construction of the Mirador tailings management facilities. This panel must be provided with full and complete information from EcuaCorriente S.A., without which it is impossible to make specific recommendations. This panel would be similar to the independent expert panels who evaluated the failures of the Mount Polley (Independent Expert Engineering Investigation and Review Panel, 2015) and Fundão tailings dams (Fundão Tailings Dam Review Panel, 2016). Unlike the previous expert panels, it is recommended that this panel be convened before the disaster and not after.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *