The Real News Network reports on the future of Haiti and foreign investors’ interest of in the country’s gold [see previous post Gold! Haiti eyes potential $20 billion bonanza.] The reports states, “More than two years since an earthquake shook Haiti to its core, and as reconstruction continues, U.S. and Canadian mining companies make a fortune off recently discovered gold. But do the Haitian people benefit?”
Exploratory drilling is already underway and according to the AP article, “Gold! Haiti Eyes Potential $20 Billion Bonanza” (mentioned above), “U.S. and Canadian investors have spent more than $30 million in recent years on everything from exploratory drilling to camps for workers, new roads, offices and laboratory studies of samples. Actual mining could be under way in five years.” Canadian company Eurasian Minerals, for example, has already gathered 44,000 samples from the potential mining areas, having partnered with the U.S.’s Newmont Mining, the second largest gold producer in the world.
According to the report, the discovery of gold has led to a great deal of “behind closed doors wheeling and dealing.” Among several irregularities, the former Minister of the Economy and Finances Ronald Baudin is now a paid consultant for Newmont and two Haitian ministers recently signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” with Newmont and Eurasian that authorizes them to begin drilling at one of their exploration sites, which goes against the extant laws regarding mining; Haitian legislation states no drilling can occur without a mining convention. Meanwhile, local gold prospectors are selling their finds for half the market value, for approximately $700 an ounce.
[Many thanks to Rod Fusco for bringing this item to our attention.]