Ecuador’s minister for non-renewable natural resources Wilson Pastor has said the nation’s mining sector is expected to receive $3.5bn in foreign investment.

Currently, international mining companies including Corriente Resources, International Minerals and Kinross Gold are in talks with the government to sign exploitation contracts in Ecuador.

Canada’s Corriente Resources unit Ecuacorriente is negotiating for its Mirador project, which has estimated reserves of 10 billion pounds of copper.

International Minerals Corp unit is in talks for its Rio Blanco project, which has estimated reserves of 605,000 oz of gold and 4.3Moz of silver.