Case Study

Protecting Biodiversity in Ecuador

Kinross’ Fruta del Norte project is located in the Ecuadorian Amazon Region of the province of Zamora-Chinchipe, along the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border. Ecuador is home to one of the world’s most diverse populations of animals and plants per square kilometre, and protecting biodiversity in the region is a vitally important element of Kinross’ environmental management system, which guides the project’s exploration and development.

In partnership with the Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and experts from local universities and NGOs, we are gathering baseline information in the 3,700-hectare El Zarza Wildlife Refuge, located less than five kilometres southwest from Fruta del Norte, which is part of a network of protected areas established by the government of Ecuador in the Cordillera del Cóndor, the mountain range along the Ecuadorian-Peruvian border. The MOE will build on the studies to develop an environmental management plan for the refuge.

Through our network of consultants, we are working with the Missouri Botanical Garden, a St. Louis-based conservation institution that has been cataloguing Ecuador’s abundant plant life for more than two decades. Since 2008, researchers from the institute have discovered several new species of flora on several of our mining concessions. In 2009, we initiated a monitoring study with Simbioie Foundation, an Ecuadorian research group that conducts biodiversity studies, to determine how informal mining activities are impacting local fish populations, using state-of-the-art measurement techniques. Our goal is to use the information gathered from these studies to measure and minimize the future impact of our operations.