The governments of El Salvador and Costa Rica have successfully resisted demands by the gold mining industry, putting long-term environmental protection ahead of short-term financial gain. El Salvador
stopped issuing gold mining permits several years ago, despite high gold prices and the contention by some that exporting gold was one of the country’s few chances to boost economic growth. The majority of its citizens obtain water from one large river system, the Lempa, and gold mining, which uses cyanide as a processing agent, invariably pollutes nearby rivers and watersheds.
The government of Costa Rica has said no to open-pit mining, one of the most environmentally destructive mining methods. Popular opposition surged in the wake of a major accident that led to the closure of the Canadian-owned Bellavista open-pit gold mine.
Source: YES! magazine