Ecuador's central bank in the capital city of Quito - a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Ecuador’s central bank, Banco Central del Ecuador, has announced that it has recently added to the nation’s gold reserves as part of the state’s holdings, taking its total holdings up to $1 billion.

The South American country used an unnamed Swiss company to refine 4.98 tonnes of gold mined within the state, worth USD $235 million, which will be used for funding spending pledges in the future according to the General Manager of the BCE, Verónica Artola Jarrín.

Speaking to reporters, Ms Artola said that this was a national milestone due to it increasing Ecuador’s monetary gold reserves, recomposing the central bank’s balance sheet, sending a positive message to the international community, and strengthening the Dollarisation process.

The gold has been bought from small or artisanal miners within Ecuador – reported to be from anywhere between 100 and 320 different sources – with the total amount weighing in at 160,000 troy ounces of gold bullion.

The process has been ongoing since just prior to Ms Artola’s appointment in 2017 as the bank’s General Manager. $30 million worth of gold was acquired in 2016, $47 million in 2017, $90 million in 2018, and $52 million this year.