Guatemala’s Mining Potential

Despite the enormous potential in gold, nickel, tin and other light metals, the mining sector is not consolidated due to lack of strategic planning and public policies.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A study by the Fraser Institute puts Guatemala in position 74 out of 79 countries evaluated according to the favorability, or not, of the environment for mining. It is a very low position which suggests that it has unattractive conditions for investment.

In Guatemala, "the permanence and consolidation of these companies has not been stable due to a lack of public and legal policies as well as other factors of great impact which any other company interested in investing in the country needs," writes Andrea Arana, from Central American Business Intelligence (CABI).

In a comparison between Central and South America, Arana says:

"In several countries the mining sector has contributed taking them down training and development paths that have led to them now standing as emerging and developed countries. Countries like Chile, Colombia, and others mostly in South America. Central America has not had a solid foundation and structural policies are needed in order to establish lasting settlements and a long-term global mining industry. South America is at an advantage over this, since these states have conducted the necessary and intelligent studies to direct investment to foreign mining industries that generate more income and work for the development of their countries. These same countries generate direct competition with the Central American ones. Clearly vision and strategic planning are the keys to kick starting the mining sector in Guatemala."

More on this topic

Nicaragua and the New Mining Law

June 2017

The Assembly is preparing to approve a bill that creates the Nicaraguan Mining Company (Empresa Nicaragüense de Minas), which will be able to participate in exploration and exploitation activities carried out by companies who have received concessions.

In addition to the possibility of participating directly in activities carried out by concessionaire companies, once the law is approved, the Nicaraguan Mining Company (ENIMINAS), "... will have as its objective the execution and development of exploration and rational exploitation of the country's mining resources. "

Canada Defends its Mining Companies

May 2015

Central America should take note that the Canadian government is moving away from environmental positions and promoting and defending the interests of its mining investment undertakings in other territories.

The Salvadoran government is attempting to gain support in Canada in its litigation against Oceana Gold, a company founded on Australian and Canadian capital which is trying to buy Pacific Rim, a company that sued El Salvador for $301 million because they were not granted permission to operate a gold mine in the north.

El Salvador: Slowness of Legislature Threatens Investment

March 2013

An IDB study indicates that delays in the approval of the law on public-private partnerships is jeopardizing private investment.

According to a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a project funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), while El Salvador has made progress in preparations for Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), delays in the approval of a regulatory framework are jeopardizing private investment.

Honduras Ranked Last in Mining Investment

March 2012

Guatemala and Honduras are among the worst countries in the world in which to invest in the mining industry.

The Policy Potential Index (PPI) is a composite index, which measures how attractive countries policies are for developing mining projects. It is published by the Fraser Institute, whose vision is a free and prosperous world where individuals benefit more when they have more choice, when markets are competitive, and when there is greater personal responsibility. Its mission is to measure, study and communicate the impact of competitive markets and government interventions on people’s welfare.

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