Governments in Central America are tasked with balancing the needs of their economies, the indigenous populations, and the environment when presented with regulating industry within their borders. Nowhere is this balance more critical and tested than in the mining industries of Honduras, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. As a result of pressure from these forces, governments have recently taken action to make sure the needs of every group is taken into consideration. Exports from the mining industry are deeply integrated into the economies of Central America and the region continues to provide unparalleled investment opportunities in natural resource mining and export.
Recent developments in the region include an increase in taxes paid by transnational miners in Guatemala, 10% up from the existing 1%. The reason given for the increase, according to publications, "they (the increase in taxes) are necessary to balance the country’s budget, adding that the government won’t expropriate stakes in natural resource companies or take a stake in those already in the country." Guatemala is a world leader in silver mining. The government of Honduras has enacted new mining laws to allow surveys to be conducted by mining companies to determine if there is evidence of mineral deposits anywhere in the country, except in specifically excluded areas. In Honduras, natural resource mining accounts for upwards of 50% of its exports, an amount greater than agricultural staples such as bananas. The Dominican Republic is home to two of the world's largest gold mining companies. Exports of these precious metals to North America and Europe provide billions to the local economies as well as tens of thousands of jobs.
At CENTRAL LAW we represent renowned mining corporations with investments in the region. Our comprehensive legal advice service include consulting for international financing, consulting for the acquisition of mining concessions, environmental permits and licenses, among others, and exploration and extraction permits. Our mining lawyers also consult with corporate and governments clients on legal issues ranging from exploration concessions, extraction concessions, employment, royalties, mortgages, assignment, and/or Transfer, and taxes.