Costa Rica Bans Open Pit Mining

The Legislature approved, in its first discussion, a bill banning open pit mining.

Friday, November 5, 2010

With a unanimous vote of 50 representatives on first debate, the mining code reform was approved.

Next Tuesday second debate will be voted and if approved, along with the signature of President Laura Chinchilla, it will come into effect.

"The bill amends the Mining Code, so that the executive branch cannot grant more permits to explore or mine metals such as copper, silver and gold with the strip mining method," according to La Nacion.

More on this topic

Guatemala: Obstacles to Mining Investment

February 2015

Businessmen are complaining that there are over one hundred applications for licenses which have been approved by the Attorney but are pending review and approval by the Ministry of Energy and Mines.

Mining companies in Guatemala say that one of the reasons for the delays in the process for obtaining mining exploration licenses is because the government does not support this sector of the economy.

Mining Industry Frozen in El Salvador

January 2011

There are 26 mining projects between applications for exploration and exploitation which have not been approved.

Applications for mining comprise nearly 5% of the country's territory. says, "companies have found a vein of gold that begins in Mexico and goes through all the countries of Central America and ends in Costa Rica."

El Salvador: Law to Ban Mining

August 2010

A Congress committee has initiated an investigation into a new law that would prohibit mining within national territory.

The parliamentary initiative seeks to eliminate mining in El Salvador," a communication by the Legislative Assembly states.

"On the Committee for the Environment and Climate Change both the governing left and opposition right leaning parties are represented and all agree on the need to enact a law that bans the exploitation of the country's mineral resources," reports

Costa Rica Imposes Moratorium on Gold Mining

May 2010

In its initial ministerial meeting, the new government issued a decree imposing an indefinite moratorium on all forms of gold mining.

The moratorium will apply on gold metal, “exploration, exploitation and benefitting from materials extracted using cyanide or mercury”. It will become active once published in the official government gazette.

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