This article by Claire Provost examines efforts of Pacific Rim to sue El Salvador for refusing to let the company dig for gold in its northern province of Cabañas.
A multinational mining company has been accused of launching “a direct assault on democratic governance” by suing El Salvador for more than US$300m (£179m) in compensation, after the tiny Central American country refused to allow it to dig for gold amid growing opposition to the exploitation of its mineral wealth.
More than 300 NGOs, trade unions and civil society groups have signed a strongly worded letter accusing the Canada-based company Pacific Rim of using a little-known international tribunal to “subvert a democratic nationwide debate over mining and environmental health”.
Pacific Rim, now owned by OceanaGold, a Canadian-Australian firm, applied in 2004 for a permit to start operations at its El Dorado mine in the northern province of Cabañas.
The company seeks $301m from El Salvador in a protracted investment dispute that began in 2009. Pacific Rim claims El Salvador violated its own investment law by not issuing it a permit to dig for gold at the El Dorado mine. …. To view entire article, click here.