Defomin: Local permission required for mining concessions

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Honduran mining promotion board (Defomin) head Sandra Marleny Pinto has denied concessions are being granted to mining companies without the permission of local communities, El Tiempo reported.

Environmental activists and representatives of the Civic Alliance for the Reform of the General Mining Law have questioned why more than 60 applications for concessions have appeared, even after President Ricardo Maduro promised not to grant any more without the permission of the affected communities.

However, Marleny Pinto pointed out that despite President Maduro's promise, mining companies are still allowed to apply for concessions.

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"We have to continue receiving requests because not to receive them would go against the republic's constitution, which guarantees the right of petition," she said.

The Civic Alliance for the Reform of the General Mining Law has introduced a proposal calling for a new 10% tax on mining production in Honduras in addition to a proposed new 3% royalty on the sale and export of mining products.

The law also encompasses stricter environmental regulations, including nominating a number of areas in the country where mining would not be allowed. On Monday (August 9), the Alliance gave a presentation on their proposals to the President of the Honduran Congress, Porfirio Lobo Sosa.