Sunday, February 26, 2017

Battle against mining industry continues in El Salvador

Although El Salvador currently has a moratorium on gold mining imposed by the executive branch, and the country won an international arbitration with gold mining company Oceana Gold, activists have not stopped the fight to keep gold mining companies out of the country.

Oceana Gold has not yet paid the $8 million judgment against it for the costs incurred by the government of El Salvador in the arbitration.   280 national and international environmental and solidarity organizations recently released a letter demanding that Oceana Gold pay up and move out.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly has still failed to pass a law to prohibit metallic mining in the country.    Passage of such a law is one of the major goals of the environmental movement in El Salvador.    The Roman Catholic church has added its voice to those calling for the mining ban.

With so many forces aligned against gold mining, even without the passage of a law I see little chance that any mining company will set its eyes on El Salvador soon.    Oceana Gold will continue to struggle to salvage the earlier investments its subsidiary Pac-Rim made in the country, but other companies are not going to make the significant capital investment which would be needed.

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