Thursday, March 05, 2009

Saca says "no" to Pacific Rim

Next week, with El Salvador's presidential election looming, the Canadian gold-mining company Pacific Rim may commence a multi-million dollar international arbitration against the government of El Salvador under the DR-CAFTA trade agreement. As the SHARE Foundation's blog reports, the current president, Tony Saca, has no intention of settling with Pacific Rim:

President Antonio Saca recently declared that he will not grant extraction rights to Pacific Rim, a Canadian-based mining company that has been exploring gold mining options in El Dorado, El Salvador. His announcement comes just before the three-month period for the amicable negotiation between the government and company ends and the dispute goes before international arbitration. President Saca added, “I want to make something clear, I prefer to pay the $90 million dollars [for arbitration] than to give them a permit.”

President Saca stated that he wants a business that can demonstrate that its practices will not harm the environment. The idea of “green mining,” Saca says, is “a very superficial thing.”

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

What I haven't heard from either side in this issue, is what is Pacific Rim's track record in managing previous mining projects. I don't think anyone can make an informed decision or opinion without that.

Have they gone into other countries and been able to extract gold without ruining the environment? I assume this is not the first project they have undertaken so they have a record, good or bad, somewhere. But what I hear are horror stories about how mining companies, not Pacific Rim, managed land in years past, which was atrocious.

There also seems to either be silence on the part of Pacific Rim in reference to their history, which would tend to speak volumes, or this silence means they are trying to show how they have managed land in the past and no one is allowing that message out. That would be a tragedy because El Salvador needs jobs, and it doesn't need to lose $90 million dollars.

So from what I have read and heard of this situation says that some very important information is missing in this debate.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see how a progressive Latin American country (Venezuela) handles gold mining, paste this link (sorry I don't know how to do hyperlinks) http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/dca9a082-09c2-11de-add8-0000779fd2ac.html.

Hugo is farming out the gold mining to Russia, those ecologically minded stalwarts, because he's made such a mess of the oil patch he took over, that and the drop in oil prices that him like a ton of bricks.

I doubt Russia is too worried about providing jobs to Venezuelans, or how pristine the landscape will be after they finish, but I also doubt you will hear much ado about that from those supporters of Hugo who oppose Pacific Rim.

Miguel Lerdo said...

By what definition is Hugo Chavez a progressive? A demagogue, yes. A populist, clearly. These traits would seem to preclude progress.

Anonymous said...

What Saca says before and after the election may not necessarily be the same thing.

Anonymous said...

This would be the first mine that Pacfic Rim opens and operates, so they have no track record.

Anonymous said...

Pacific Rim's management is top notch with lots of mining experience. It's a stellar company.

Anonymous said...

Saca says no, but Funes will say yes. It makes sense for employment in El Salvador.

fencesitternomore said...

As near as I can tell it is Saca who is superficial. The man is as honorable as the OxFam stooges who oppose mining and say that green mining doesn't exist and yet can offer no other solutions to the basic problems of El Salvadoran society, which are lack of employment and opportunity. Mining will obviously not provide enough employment to solve all the problems but every little bit helps.