By Carey L. Biron
WASHINGTON, Sep 16 2014 (IPS) – A multilateral arbitration panel here began final hearings Monday in a contentious and long-running dispute between an international mining company and the government of El Salvador.
An Australian mining company, OceanaGold, is suing the Salvadoran government for refusing to grant it a gold-mining permit that has been pending for much of the past decade. El Salvador, meanwhile, cites national laws and policies aimed at safeguarding human and environmental health, and says the project would threaten the country’s water supply.
“This mining process would use some really poisonous substances – cyanide, arsenic – that would destroy the environment. Ultimately, the people suffer the consequences.” — Father Eric Lopez
The country also claims that OceanaGold has failed to comply with basic requirements for any gold-mining permitting. Further, in 2012, El Salvador announced that it would continue a moratorium on all mining projects in the country. To read the full article, click here.