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Article

5 Feb 2024

Author:
Mongabay

Nicaragua: Mines are still normally operating despite U.S. 2022 sanctions, says report

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"Harmful mining continues in Nicaragua despite U.S. sanctions, new investigation shows", 05 February 2024

...U.S. sanctions imposed in 2022 against Nicaragua’s mining industry were supposed to help combat a bloody wave of human rights abuses against local communities...

Numerous mines are still operating like normal, according to a new report from the Oakland Institute...[,]...contributing to escalating violence against Indigenous communities and the destruction of ancestral land...

In theory, that meant anyone mining in Nicaragua was blocked from accessing financial entities in the U.S., including properties, capital and banking services...

Last year, the U.S. was the country’s largest gold importer...The U.S. Treasury Department didn’t respond to a request for comment...

Indigenous communities in the Mayangna Sauni As territory on the Caribbean coast reported at least nine murders and nine kidnappings between January and July 2023, multiple injuries and the burning of one community, according to the Oakland Institute’s report.

One of the largest mining companies in Nicaragua is Calibre, a Canadian mining company susceptible to sanctions because it operates numerous subsidiaries in the U.S. Since the sanctions against ENIMIENAS were announced, the company has obtained 11 additional concessions totaling 336,598 hectares (831,751 acres), according to the report.

Calibre didn’t respond to a request for comment for this article. But it told Oakland Institute that it purchases ore from artisanal miners who meet legal and traceability requirements, and not from artisanal miners working inside Indigenous territories...

The company has several U.S. shareholders, including mining company B2Gold, equity firm Invesco, investment firm Van Eck Associates and mining company ASA Gold and Precious Metals. None of the companies responded to a request for comment for this article.

Other connections to Nicaragua mining include U.S. investment firm BlackRock’s shares in Grupo Mineros through an index fund, according to the report. BlackRock didn’t respond to a request for comment...