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Gold mining in Nicaragua

Your humble scribe read with interest this article in Global Post today about the rise and expansion of the gold mining industry in Nicaragua. A recommended read, it starts like this (but click through on the link because there’s plenty more):

LA LIBERTAD, Nicaragua — Explosions ring out near La Libertad, an area that was the scene of fierce combat during Nicaragua’s civil war in the 1980s.
But these days, the blasts come not from guerrilla fighters but from prospectors searching for gold.

Record prices for gold have led to an influx of foreign investors and the reactivation of Nicaragua’s long-dormant mining industry. Annual gold production has more than doubled in just the past three years. Gold is now the country’s No. 3 export and has helped Nicaragua post the highest economic growth rate in Central America. continues here

IKN back. One of the things we do in the subscription IKN Weekly every quarter is run a check on the regional risk for mining in LatAm countries. It’s done on an ongoing basis and we score (and adjust the scoring of) the countries covered. In the last couple of years, the major upmoves have been seen by Colombia and, yes you guessed it, Nicaragua on our list. The Colombia story is well-known (and somewhat overhyped) but the rise and acceptance of gold mining in Nicaragua isn’t such a widely known story. Here’s how we’ve covered Nicaragua in the last three editions of the quarterly “Regional Risk Update” over at The IKN Weekly.

From IKN 112, dated June 26th 2011

Nicaragua: Political stability is up one point. The electioneering for the upcoming Presidential vote is now getting into full swing, current incumbent Daniel Ortega is leading the field and, even if you’re not keen on him (I’m not) or his left-wing political stance (I don’t care), there’s no doubting that his government of the last few years has been supportive of exploration, mining production and FDI inflows into the mining sector. Since our first review in IKN32 back in December 2009 Nicaragua has climbed by five points, each one well-deserved. This country is an unsung, underrated pocket of clear miner-friendliness in the CenAm region.

From IKN 123, dated September 11th 2011

Nicaragua: Unchanged. We are moving ever closer to the November 6th general election, but so far at least things on the campaign trail have been relatively smooth. Of course, the term “relatively smooth” may mean something quite different in a place like Switzerland and a Central American state with a history of volatility and violence so greater context is required from the reader, but overall the election seems to be going off without major incidents and that can only be a good thing for the present and future of the country. Mining exports have become an important part of the country’s economic mix and President Ortega (current favourite to get re-elected in November despite doubts over whether his candidacy is legal) may be many things but he’s not stupid, so mining activity is getting his government’s full support. We like Nica as a destination for exploration juniors and it’s certainly the best place in Central America to do mining business today.

From IKN137, dated December 18th 2011

Nicaragua: Political Stability up one point. The Presidential elections came and went and, apart from some suspicion of some ballot stuffing from the Ortega side, it’s clear who won the vote and would have won it anyway. Daniel Ortega isn’t my cup of tea on many levels, but he’s been good to the mining industry in Nicaragua and we’d expect that to continue in his second term. Thus the country gets a point added to its total and is now best of the rest outside our five preferred green-for-go countries. If you’re in B2Gold (BTO.to) or any of the early stage companies digging in Nica, you’re not in bad shape.

So yes indeed, it’s good to see Global Post picking up on the pro-mining developments in Nicaragua. After all, we don’t want to be the only people that recognize a good thing when we see it, do we? dyodd.

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