Evaluation of transparency of public information on Canadian mining projects in Ecuador

The Extractive Industries and Society


Wolf-Robin Steudt, Narcisa Medranda Morales, Roberto Sánchez Montoya


Transparency of public information in extractive industries is considered a way to counteract anti-democratic factors such as corruption and secrecy. It tends to provide public confidence in the authorities and facilitates the active participation of the citizens. In Ecuador, the Organic Law on Transparency and Access to Public Information requires, along with other laws, the publication of transparent information on aspects of public life, for instance, the exploitation of natural resources. Simultaneously, there are conflicts surrounding mining extractivism, partly due to the lack of information and participation related to these activities. How much public information do extractive companies offer about their mining projects in Ecuador? This study evaluated the levels of transparency of the digital information available on two Canadian mining projects: Curipamba and La Plata. Fifty-six indicators and evaluation criteria were developed and applied according to the national legal framework to the websites of the companies involved. As a main result, a high deficiency was found in terms of the entities’ compliance with the legal framework, with total values of 20% and 13% respectively, and web pages conceived more for shareholders and investors than for the affected people.