New Delhi, July 17 : Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador Jose Valencia met Minister of State for Mines B. K. Handique here today.
The Ministers of both the countries explored the possibility of cooperation in the mining sector between India and Ecuador.
Handique informed the Ecuadorian delegation about the liberalization in the Indian economy leading to rapid changes in mining sector and the New Mineral Policy announced by the Government in March 2008.
He also informed about the change in the Indian FDI policy in the mining sector allowing foreign equity holding up to 100 per cent on the automatic route for all non-fuel and non-atomic minerals including diamonds and precious stones.
"India looks forward to opportunities for bi-lateral cooperation in the mining sector with Ecuador," he added.
The meeting assumes importance in the view of the fact that Ecuador is endowed with varieties of minerals which includes gold bearing quartz veins and placers, silver, copper, lead, manganese and various industrial minerals like barite, clays, feldspar, gypsum, limestone and marble.
Oil and natural gas are the main mineral resources. Small quantities of gold, silver, copper and zinc are produced. The country is known to have deposits of uranium, iron ore, lead, and coal.