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Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina has enacted a law creating a new ministry of energy and mines.
The ministry will be charged with formulating and directing national policy on exploration and exploitation in metallic and non-metallic mining, according to a statement on the presidential website.
The law was approved by the country's congress in July.
The ministry will also be tasked with ensuring the "protection, preservation and adequate exploitation" of minerals in the ground and on the seabed, the statement said, as well as ensuring security of energy sources and safety and maintenance standards in energy infrastructure.
In February, the government's director of mining Alexander Medina said he aimed to approve mining exploration permits within four months of their receipt, with 290 applications currently being processed.