Quite apart from the ecological impacts of mining in forested areas, mining has significant environmental impacts, including long term contamination of soil and water sources, formation of sinkholes, and the production of large amounts of toxic waste, or tailings.
Australia has strict regulatory watchdogs to ensure safe environmental practices. The news items below however, show that even in Australia, what is purported to be best practice, can be at best described as tokenisitic, and at worst, criminal negligence. Many Australian mining companies are happy to privatise profits, but pass on the costs and risks of their abandoned mines to the taxpayer.
If this is the outcome in a heavily-regulated developed country like Australia, what will the future of Ecuador's "investor-friendly mining regime" actually look like?