Nicaragua grants mining concession to a Chinese company

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By Marco Echevarria

The concession allows Xinxin Linze Mining Group to exploit a metal and non-metallic mining site for 25 years.

The Nicaraguan government granted a 25-year concession to a Chinese company to explore and exploit minerals on the Caribbean coast, according to a resolution released Monday.

The concession allows the company Xinxin Linze Mining Group “the metal and non-metallic mining use in the lot called Nuevo Bijagual,” in the municipalities of Siuna and Mulukukú of the Autonomous Region of the North Caribbean Coast, according to the resolution of the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

The concession area covers 36.6 hectares, according to the text published in the official newspaper La Gaceta, which does not specify which minerals will operate the firm.

The Chinese company, which applied for the concession in November 2023, “shall initiate exploration activities anywhere in the mining lot, within no more than four (4) years […], renewable for another year,” the resolution says, without mentioning amounts related to the operation.

China and Nicaragua have expanded their trade and cooperation relations since they restored diplomatic relations in 2021, after Managua cut ties with Taiwan, an island considered by Beijing as part of its territory.

Local media said Xinxin Linze is a subsidiary of mining giant Xinjiang Xinxin Mining Industry Company Limited, which has interests in nickel and copper, as well as other non-ferrous metals.

Last February, official media said the company began construction of a camp in Liberia, in Mulukukú municipality.

Mining activity in the Central American country has seen growth in recent years, especially gold, which last year generated more than $1 billion, to be the main export product.

Nicaragua has granted more than 170 concessions for metal mining and 127 for non-metallic mining.

Last year, President Daniel Ortega’s government granted two mining concessions on 15,400 hectares in the North Caribbean Autonomous Region, also to China’s Zhong Fu Development, a subsidiary of Zhong Fu Invest Group.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Diario El Mundo