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Carlos de Miguel III

ECUADOR - Energy & Mining

Carlos de Miguel III

General Manager, Hanrine Exploration and Mining (a wholly owned subsidiary of Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd.)


Carlos de Miguel III, General Manager of Hanrine Exploration, is a respected multinational executive with over two decades of experience across six continents in the energy, maritime, critical infrastructure, risk engineering, and global security sectors. He has held positions with two of the oldest and most prestigious banks in the world, Barclays and Goldman Sachs, and holds an undergraduate degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a member of the exclusive Ivy League.

With the immense mining potential in Ecuador, Hanrine Exploration and Mining is keen to work with the country and industry to encourage further growth and change people’s lives.

What factors have been decisive in Hanrine Exploration and Mining’s commitment to develop projects in Ecuador, and how important can the country become in the company’s project portfolio?

There are two areas of the world that are copper rich for advanced exploration: Ecuador and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In Ecuador, we have President Guillermo Lasso, who is very supportive of mining. We have monthly meetings with the CEOs of various companies with President Lasso and his cabinet, and he is always looking for ways to actively support the industry. He is looking at mining as the new oil. Ecuador, which has essentially been closed to mining for the last 50 years, can now not only focus on mining but build it in a responsible way with state of the art technology and be a major copper producer in the world. Hanrine Exploration and Mining sees great potential in Ecuador. If we look to the south in the Ring of Fire, the Andean Copper Belt, and so on, there are important copper projects in Argentina, Chile, and Peru. We see them again in Colombia, Mexico, up to the US, going up to Canada. In Ecuador, the Minister of Energy and Mines and the Minister of Environment are working to lower barriers to entry so that large multinationals can enter, conduct exploration, build mines, and produce, all the while adding value to the country, such as jobs and hopefully a refinery in Ecuador. These are all things that can significantly change Ecuador’s future. 

What investment potential is there for Hanrine Exploration and Mining—as a subsidiary of Hancock Prospecting—to advance work on existing concessions as well as acquire new concessions in Ecuador?

Hanrine is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hancock Prospecting Pty. Ltd., which is primarily in the iron ore business. It produces over 85 million tons of iron ore a year over two major projects. It has been investing in many different countries, areas, and minerals. Copper is of great strategic interest to Hancock, and in Ecuador we have some junior mining companies that have done a phenomenal job in initially exploring and hence, de-risking tenements to an extent, and developing certain compelling data that larger companies such as us can now develop further. There are opportunities for strategic acquisitions or joint ventures to invest in advanced exploration. Later, if projects turn out to be feasible, they may build a mine. If we have two, three, or four large-scale copper mines in Ecuador, we may build a smelter, which would create thousands of jobs with significant value added by smelting in country. The ore would come from Ecuador and the metal would be produced in Ecuador.  We are one of the very few companies whose staff is comprised entirely of Ecuadorians. We do not bring in people from overseas to work here full time. We work with Ecuadorians, who are amongst the hardest-working, smartest, and open-minded people you will ever meet.

How is Hanrine Exploration and Mining helping to prevent illegal mining?

Illegal miners, with the pandemic and economic difficulties, are looking for work. We are trying to educate the communities that such activities are illegal. Local communities do not benefit as much—if at all—from illegal mining. The communities we work with are now completely against illegal mining and 100% in favor of responsible mining. President Guillermo Lasso, his cabinet, and the military in Ecuador have been doing a phenomenal job in combating illegal mining. They go into remote areas to intervene, arrest illegal miners, and confiscate or destroy their equipment. They are maintaining order in remote parts of the country. People do not understand that mining makes many of the things in our daily lives possible, and we need to educate rural communities on the importance of mining and what it can mean for the future and for future generations.



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