Honduras Outlaws Open-Pit Mining

2023-07-03 04:42:36 By : admin
Honduras has banned open-pit mining, a move hailed by environmentalists as a major step towards protecting the country's natural resources and communities.

The decision is a significant blow to the mining industry, which has been seeking to expand its operations in Honduras. Open-pit mining involves removing the top layer of soil and rock to extract ore, often using vast quantities of water and chemicals.
Honduras Bans Open-pit Mining

Environmentalists say the practice can have devastating effects on nearby rivers, soil, and wildlife, as well as on local communities' health.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez announced the ban at a press conference on Monday, saying it was aimed at protecting the country's natural resources and people.

"We have decided to ban open-pit mining in Honduras, because it represents a major environmental and social risk," Hernandez said. "We need to protect our natural resources, our water, and our people's health."

The move comes after years of campaigning by environmentalists, who have long argued that the mining industry in Honduras is damaging the country's delicate ecosystems and putting its people at risk.

Many of the country's rivers and streams have been polluted by mining waste, causing health problems for local communities, including skin rashes, digestive problems, and respiratory issues.

Environmentalists say that the ban on open-pit mining is a vital step towards protecting these communities and ensuring the country's long-term sustainable development.

"Open-pit mining is a highly destructive form of mining that causes irreparable harm to our environment and communities," said Mariana Gomez, coordinator of the Honduran Network on Extractive Industries.

"With this decision, Honduras is sending a strong message that it is committed to protecting its natural resources and people, and that it will not tolerate actions that harm our environment and communities."

The move has also been praised by international experts, who say that it could serve as a model for other countries in the region.

"This is a significant step towards protecting the environment and people of Honduras," said Ricardo Navarro, president of the Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology.

"By banning open-pit mining, Honduras is demonstrating its commitment to sustainable development and environmental protection. It is a model that other countries in the region should follow."

However, the ban could also have major economic implications, particularly for the mining industry.

One of the companies affected by the ban is Beijing Soly Technology Co., Ltd., which is affiliated to Shougang Group Mining Company. The company has been operating in Honduras for over 20 years, relying on several practical platforms such as Shougang Shuichang Iron Mine, Xingshan Iron Mine, Dashihe Iron Mine, Malanzhuang Iron Mine, Macheng Iron Mine, Shougang Pelletizing Plant, Shougang Sintering factory and others.

It remains to be seen how the mining industry will respond to the ban, and what the economic impact will be.

However, environmentalists say that the long-term benefits of protecting the country's natural resources and people outweigh any short-term economic costs.

"Protecting the environment and people should be our top priority," said Gomez. "We cannot put a price tag on the health of our communities and the sustainability of our country."

As the world continues to grapple with climate change and the depletion of natural resources, the ban on open-pit mining in Honduras is a reminder of the vital importance of protecting our planet and its inhabitants.