The Dominican Republic is expecting to turn its mining profits into its major source of income in the next couple of years. With an abundant resource of untapped gold, the country is virtually sitting on swathes of gold mines that are yet to be explored.
The Pueblo Viejo mine, located in the central part of the island, was abandoned by the state owned Rosario Dominicana almost 13 years ago after creating an environmental mess which led to green activists fuming over ecological nightmares. Not much has changed in the nation where politicians have long been known to be corrupt, bureaucratic and almost exploitative in nature when it comes to foreign mining companies. The toxic legacy of the Pueblo Viejo mine still causes a lot of people to fume and get angry. Any talk of the mine being opened to digging causes arguments from all sides involved.
While the officials at the mine and the government insist that this time the operations are going to be foolproof and there would be no environmental accidents, green activists fear that the cyanide used to treat golden ores may contaminate soil and water, especially with the island’s history of hurricanes, earthquakes and natural disasters. Pueblo Viejo Dominicana is all set to begin operations under two of the largest gold mining companies in the world. The project is a joint venture in which Barrick Gold (ABX) owns 60% and Goldcorp (GG) own the remaining 40%.