Economist: Mining concessions show nervousness of the Government
Economist Luis Vargas,
The Government, through the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM), recently granted 18 mining exploration licenses to various companies and individuals for different types of metallic and non-metallic materials located in eight provinces of the country.
Economist Luis Vargas, an expert in hydrocarbons and energy, explained that these three-year concessions, although they are the initial phase for future extractions, are surprised when there is no designated authority in the Ministry of the Environment.
He explained that the authorities should talk about the necessary renegotiation of the exploitation agreement with the Barrick Pueblo Viejo company, adding that, given the rise in gold and silver prices on international markets, the country has no choice but to rethink the terms of this agreement.
Vargas indicated that, before the country embarks on other explorations, it is necessary to redefine what he considers a “discriminatory distribution” of the added value or profit against the mining workers and the country.
He added that the participation of the communities surrounding the mines must also be redefined.
Everybody and the environment should be given consideration when granting concessions for mining. The mining companies are at an advantage at this time to push their agendas through with government. Because the country’s economy is walking a thin line between weakening and progressing the government is being reluctantly nudged to concede to mining interests. There is a need for tax revenue and employment opportunies for the public. Protection of the environment may have to take a back seat.
Remember that Barrick is leaving behind pools of contaminated water with organic extractants. The island is for tourism and widespread mining is INCOMPATIBLE with tourism, environmental protection, and habitability in the island. Also you don’t want to ELIMINATE your collaterals such as noble metals and iron/nickel that future generations will need to pay the debt we are leaving them.
The government continues to destroy the island (like termites) with total disregard for the future of the island.
Just because you have a valuable commodity in the ground, it does not imply that you have to dig it out and sell it. Remember, buried under the soil there could be radioactivity, toxic metals, and organic carbon that stratification took away for life to prosper on the surface. Think DECARBONIZATION. Do not play with the Dominican ground until the people understand exactly what they are getting into!!!!