World Bank to Draft New Mining Legislation for Haiti

To help Haiti rebuild its infrastructure, the World Bank (WB) is working with the government of Haiti (GOH) to draft a proposal to modernize its mining law. Haiti's mining industry is a well-kept secret. Foreign mining companies have been quietly doing exploratory drilling in northern ranges close to the Dominican Republic border, having invested $30-plus million dollars. What they have uncovered is a mother lode of copper, silver, and gold ore, estimated at $20 billion.


For Haiti to benefit from this potential windfall, royalty rates need to be raised from two percent per ounce to at least nine to 12 percent. It's going to be a tough sell for WB and GOH to persuade Parliament for two reasons. First, Parliament cannot hold sessions unless all 30 senators are present. Some senators are absent because they are campaigning for re-election, although elections have yet to be announced. Second, the opposition party, holding a majority of seats, is against cooperating with the current administration.

Prime Minister Lamothe is working closely with WB to present Parliament with a new proposal to fulfill environmental sustainability regulations. He wants the new proposal completed in six months.

Information about this bonanza has been kept from the public not to raise false hopes. Of 10 million people on the island, 70% live in grinding poverty on barely two dollars a day. Haiti's new mining law needs to be passed and enacted as soon as possible; to be on the books when the mining project actually begins.

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Read more: economy, gold, Finance, World Bank, Mining, Business & Finance

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