The aim of the initiative is to reinforce responsible mining practices, as well as address the major challenges facing local communities. The miner will work in collaboration with researchers, teachers, students and local community membrs to progress jointly identified environmental and social projects.
Lundin joined university officials recently in Guayaquil and at the UNL research station in Los Encuentros to formalise the deals.
Under the outlines of the partnership, UNL will focus on agricultural projects. ESPOL and Lundin will work with artisanal miners and advance the idea of co-existence with larger-scale operations.
"These partnerships are an essential aspect of large-scale responsible mining, and we look forward to demonstrating the benefits that these relationships can bring to local communities and the country," Lundin business sustainability vice president Nathan Monash said.
"Universities are key stakeholders as Ecuador becomes a leading mining jurisdiction."
UNL chancellor Nikolay Aguirre mentioned at the recent signing ceremony that the partnership created a new, innovative platform for Ecuador to share knowledge.
"Both of our institutions want to work together to promote long-term sustainable development," Aguirre said.
Canadian-based Lundin Gold wholly owns Fruta del Norte. The south-east Ecuador mine, according to company data, is one of the world's largest, highest-grade gold projects now under construction.