LatinNews Daily - 23 April 2024

In brief: Nicaragua greenlights China mining licence

*Nicaragua’s government led by President Daniel Ortega has authorised a mining concession spanning over 36,600 hectares (ha) to Chinese owned company Nicaragua Xinxin Linze Minería Group, S.A in the municipalities of Siuna and Mulukukú, in the indigenous North Atlantic autonomous region (Raan). This follows announcements last year of another concession of two lots awarded in the Raan to a Chinese company Zhong Fu. The latest move has been slammed by environmentalists such as Amaru Ruiz, the director of local NGO Fundación del Río, who was cited by investigative outlet Confidencial as complaining that the environmental impact studies, which the firm should present to the authorities and make available to the public, remain unknown. As of 1 March 2024, 23% of Nicaraguan territory has been awarded in mining concessions. Indigenous organisations like Plataforma de los Pueblos Indígenas y Afrodescendientes de Nicaragua previously complained that the two lots awarded to Zhong Fu are in indigenous protected territory. The announcement regarding the latest concession was made as a delegation from China’s Communist Party is visiting Nicaragua, in what is the latest sign of efforts to shore up ties which were established in late 2021 after Nicaragua severed ties with Taiwan. According to Nicaraguan state mouthpiece el19digital, the delegation has held discussions with the energy & mining ministry, with the president of the central bank, as well as with representatives from the agriculture and tourism ministries, among others.

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