IKN

To quit this horrid act

Nicaragua cancels the Plantel Los Ángeles gold mine concession

Here’s an interesting report out of Nicaragua. The mining company Milling Nicaragua is a privately owned concern that runs the Plantel Los Ángeles mine in Nicaragua, a small gold mine operating for as long as this blog has covered the LatAm mining world (it opened in 2008, we believe), currently directly employs 200 to 250 people and runs a neat and profitable 250tpd mill operation. The man behind the company is one Randy Martin, a very well-known name in the mining world who’s been involved in the Nicaragua mining scene for almost two decades (including ownership of HEMCO in Bonanza, before he sold to Colombia’s Mineros SA). The Plantel Los Ángeles mine has always been a centrepiece of his operations and, while a small concern, has been run in a correct and opportune manner. For example, in early 2021 Martin announced a U$25m investment program in the mine that would upgrade operations and improve its environmental footprint.

This week, with no warning or justification, the government of Nicaragua cancelled the company’s concession. Your screenshot with its translated title “The (Daniel Ortega) Regimen Cancels the Plantel Los Ángeles Mining Concession, 1,200 families are left without employment in La Libertad and Santo Domingo“:

Goodbye Plantel Los Ángeles, goodbye Mr. Martin, thanks for your time, close your mine immediately, lay your workers off, don’t let the door hit you on the way out, so long and thanks for all the fish. This news has come out the blue, but the same report notes that by sheer coincidence also comes just a few days after Randy Martin’s company applied for and was denied another new concession in another part of the country. Instead of authorizing the new concession to Plantel Los Ángeles/Milling Nicaragua, the Daniel Ortega regime decided to award it to a newly created company, “Compañía Minera Internacional Sociedad Anónima”. The report states that the owner of that newly incorporated company is Señor Salvador Mansell, who also happens to be Nicaragua’s Minister of Energy and Mines. Now, there’s a thing.

Therefore and to repeat for the umpteenth time, when will the CEOs of mining companies exposed to Nicaragua political risk address the elephant in the room? Just as one example, this post from two months ago and this excerpt:

We still haven’t had a peep out of CEO Mark Child of Condor Gold (CNR.L), who recently spent his afternoon fawning in front of the scumbag Ortega. Also, nothing from CEO Darren Hall of Calibre Mining (CXB.to), CEO Akiba Leisman of Mako Mining (MKO.v), CEO Andrés Restrepo of Mineros S.A. (MSA.to), CEO Cesar Gonzalez of Sailfish Royalty (FISH.v) to name just a few mining executives getting rich off the back of the infamously corrupt and increasingly oppressive dictatorship running Nicaragua.

However, the silence remains and the cowards refuse to mention the obvious to their shareholders. What’s the plan, guys? Keep quiet and hope Dannyboy doesn’t do the same to them? Or perhaps they think they are safe, due to having special arrangements and agreements with the dictatorship. Only time will tell.

4 Comments

    A Beaten Down Prospectors Cabin In The Woods The Deep Dark Woods of British Columbia 29/06/22 5:36 pm

    One of my theories is; a number of the mines in certain parts of Mexico and Lat.Am. are paying kick-backs/bribes/call-it-what-you-want to continue operating …… because, if i was the leadership of a major Mexican Cartel – there’s no (deleted) way i’d let some pencil-neck Canadian suits operate in my territory without paying tax.

    Reply

      Each jurisdiction pays in a different way. Let’s start in The USA, where bribery of authorities is legal and called “lobbying”.

      But let’s stick to mines in LatAm: In Mexico your CSR and mine site G&A budgets cover a multitude of sins. In parts of Colombia, you pay the “vacuna” (vaccination) with the head of the army batallion, which either gets your locality patrolled or “it’s if it were patrolled”, because the baddies somehow find another patch on which to operate. In Peru, the local mayor has his third party transport contract with the mine, or the catering contract or something. In Argentina it’s through “los gordos” in the trade unions. I don’t know the exact mechanism in Nica, but the obvious channel is the Sandinista party branch.

      Reply

    Opinions on Calibre, anyone…? You think it’s too risky investing in it, being in Nica?

    Reply

      If you were a dictator with a penchant for the sequestration of mining assets, would you cancel concessions and steal property before the private company ploughs its money in and develops it, or would you wait until after they’d finished?

      What just went down at Plantel Los Angeles is a serious escalation by that toerag. Up to you if you want to play dodgem cars with an authoritarian government that doesn’t respect the rule of law and sides with Russia on everything.

      Reply

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