Closure of Artisanal Small Scale Gold Mining Processing Plants in Ecuador

  •  Brandon Nichols    
  •  Marcello Veiga    
  •  Dirk Zyl    
  •  Andre Xavier    


Political tension over the discharge of artisanal mine tailings into the Puyango-Tumbes River in Ecuador, which flows into northern Peru, has prompted the closure of the responsible artisanal small gold processing plants and the construction of central processing and communal tailings facility. A coordinated effort on behalf of the federal government, miners, and the local community to develop and fund the project and bring it to completion is underway with the goal of eliminating riverine tailings disposal in the area and reclaiming the current artisanal gold processing plants. The authors propose that any approach to closure planning of ASGM must be: (1) economic and feasible to the community and miners, (2) reasonable for individuals in the community to implement on their own, and (3) expedient, as the process may not follow conventional closure techniques but instead be adapted to function within the ASGM context. The goal of this paper is to reflect on the closure process developed for the artisanal gold processing plants, their dismantlement and reclamation.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4725
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4733
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

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