Passions run wide and deep when it comes to the question of gold mining in El Salvador. In a discussion I had with community leaders in Chalatenango province yesterday, no topic provoked as much vehement discourse as their opposition to the plans by gold mining companies to explore for gold and commence operations. With their voices still ringing in my ears, I looked on the internet and was confronted by today's press release by Pacific Rim, one of the Canadian gold mining companies operating in El Salvador. The release said in part:
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 27, 2007 -- Surface mapping and sampling at Pacific Rim Mining Corp.'s ("Pacific Rim" or "the Company") Zamora gold project in El Salvador has greatly expanded the size of the epithermal vein system on this project and identified bonanza gold grades...
The Zamora epithermal vein system has been traced over a strike length of approximately 21 kilometers, with high grade gold identified locally on surface along its entire length. This system is comparable in dimension to Pacific Rim's El Dorado project approximately 150 kilometers to the east, where the Company has recently made a number of exciting gold discoveries that will expand the current measured and indicated resource of 3.7 million tonnes at an average gold equivalent grade of 10.24 g/t, for a total of 1.2 million gold equivalent ounces (1.1 million ounces of gold at 9.35 g/t and 7.4 million ounces of silver at 62.24 g/t)
With civil society organizations in El Salvador having a view that there is absolutely no way gold mining should be permitted, and gold mining companies pouring millions into "bonanza" discoveries, future clashes are likely to be bitter and prolonged over this issue.