Catholic church in El Salvador calls for mining ban

AP News
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Posted: Feb 06, 2017 6:07 PM

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — The Roman Catholic Church in El Salvador has asked the small Central American country's legislature to ban metal mining.

Archbishop Jose Luis Escobar Alas said Monday that the country's mining law is so obsolete that it makes El Salvador especially vulnerable to exploitation.

In October, El Salvador celebrated a victory in international arbitration against a multinational mining company. Pac Rim Cayman had demanded $250 million for potential profits lost when the government did not grant it a license to mine gold. Australia-based OceanaGold, which purchased Pac Rim Cayman in 2013, was ordered to pay the government's $8 million in legal fees.

Other proposals to ban mining have been introduced to the legislature, but conservative parties have kept them from advancing.