Nicaragua has Approved 33 Mining Concessions in Last 3 Years

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By LatAm Reports Staff Writers

The dictatorship of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo, between 2021 and 2023 approved 33 new mining concessions in Nicaragua, of which 17 have already been granted and the other 16 are still in process, denounced the environmentalist and president of the Rio Foundation, Amaru Ruiz.

In the same vein, Ruiz indicated that there was an increase of 66 percent of the concession area, from 923,681 in 2021 to 1,804,362 hectares in 2023; and in turn, he denounced that there was an increase in the area of mining reserve of 5,000 hectares.

Ruiz explained to the Diario LA PRENSA that they analyzed information they managed to obtain until December 2023. Do we see an increase in the concession area or in the concession area by the Ortega-Murillo regime, it is an increase of 66 percent, we have seen the increase in the area of mining reserve. We have also seen a decrease in the number of concessions, which shows that there has been an order and consolidation of mining concessions in fewer actors,” he said.

The above, according to Ruiz, is because the concessions approved to companies working outside the country are cancelled. Now what they do is cancel them, and then hand over new concessions to other actors or companies in the same area where they define that they have found the mining material, mainly gold.

Two new companies

In turn, the study presented by the president of the Rio Foundation in a conversation with the Arias Foundation for Peace in Costa Rica revealed that there are two new companies under the names of Zhong Fu Development SA (Zhong Fu, SA) and Nicaragua XinXin Linze Mining Group SA.

On these companies Ruiz specified that in the database that we had access we realized that these two companies are Asian, linked to Chinese companies, both have requested mining concessions between 2022 and 2023 and some of these have been public and most are granted.

He pointed out that the concessional area has increased significantly, which generates serious concerns about the continuity of the environmental social impacts produced by mining, in addition to the lack of belligerence of the Ortega-Murillo to reduce the impacts.

As an example, he cited that after the cyanide spill in the industrial company Hemco, although he promised to present the study of the impact of the cyanide spill there was no final report of the process, nor was it published by the company, nor was there an administrative process to pay for the environmental damage.

In turn, he indicated that they have identified that mining is developing in at least 38 municipalities in the country, where more than 40,000 people work, with more than 1,622 rustic mining profits.

From the commercial point of view gold will already represent more than $1 billion, which generated the activity in 2023, he concluded.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Prensa NI