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New mining concessions granted in Nicaragua denounced

The three concessions the regime intends to grant are equivalent to 226,083 hectares, denounced Fundacion del Rio

mining concessions

Agencia EFE

30 de julio 2023


The Nicaraguan environmental organization “Fundacion del Rio” denounced that Daniel Ortega’s regime has opened a call to grant five mining concessions in Nicaragua’s southern Caribbean region, which would further damage the environment if executed.

Environmentalist Amaru Ruiz, president of Fundacion del Rio, stated that the South Caribbean Regional Council, controlled by the Sandinista regime, issued a call for a session to approve five mining concessions in favor of the Canadian Calibre Mining company.

The Regional Council convened the session for Friday, July 28, said the human rights defender of indigenous communities and the environment, who accompanied the complaint with a copy of the call.

“The total of these concessions represent 226,083 hectares,” he specified. 

“This is almost the equivalent to the Indio Maiz Biological Reserve size. It is a huge concession area given to Calibre Mining Company,” he added.

According to this environmentalist, the mining exploitation in the South Caribbean Region of Nicaragua “could deteriorate the environmental damage and displace more families.”

According to authorities, Nicaragua expects to exceed US$1 billion in gold exports this year, up from the US$935 million sold last year.

Nicaragua has granted 299 mining concessions, 172 for metallic mining and 127 for non-metallic.

Last December, the Nicaraguan government granted three mining concessions for 25 years to the Desarrollo Minero de Nicaragua Company (DESMENIC), a subsidiary of the Canadian company Calibre Mining, for the exploitation of metallic and non-metallic minerals in the North-Central region of the country.

The US sanction

Last October, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Nicaragua´s General Directorate of Mines, attached to the Ministry of Energy and Mining.

According to the US Treasury, the General Directorate of Mines has been used by President Ortega’s government to manage the mining sector by evading the sanctions imposed by the United States last June on the state-owned company Empresa Nicaraguense de Minas (ENIMINAS).

In addition, it accuses the Nicaraguan authorities of using profits from producing and selling gold to “oppress the Nicaraguan people” and even “support the invasion of Ukraine launched by Russia.”

The United States sanctioned the General Directorate of Mines as a pressure measure to hold the Ortega government “accountable for its escalating human rights violations, continued dismantling of democratic institutions, attacks on civil society, and increased security cooperation with Russia,” according to the State Department.

According to official figures, gold is Nicaragua’s main export product, and Calibre Mining Company was the largest exporter in 2022.

This article was originally published in Spanish in Confidencial and translated by Havana Times.


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Agencia EFE

Agencia EFE

Agencia de noticias internacional con sede en Madrid, España. Fundada en Burgos durante la guerra civil española en enero de 1939.