Industry Trend Analysis - Central American Protests To Be Particularly Fraught - NOV 2014


BMI View: Protests against mining development will be especially pervasive in Central America in the coming years. Despite the prospect of investment and jobs in the underdeveloped region, the majority of local communities will see more risks than opportunities associated with mine development on account of the activity's negative environmental and social effects.

We expect various Central American countries to face significant mining-related protests in the coming quarters, reflecting a wider trend across the Americas. Protests against mining's environmental and social impacts will be a significant risk to mining investment throughout the region, forcing governments to grapple with increasingly competing aims of spurring economic growth and ensuring social stability ( see 'Regional Overview - Americas,' October 3). Though investment into and output from the broader Central American mining sector pales compared to both North and South America, protests have been particularly prevalent in the region as several mining firms continue to seek opportunities to develop significant unexploited mineral resources. Poverty rates are high among the region's large rural population, which continues to depend heavily on agriculture for its livelihood. Thus, wide swaths of Central America remain opposed to wide-scale industrial development, fearing it will put more strain on already scarce land and water resources on which much of the population depends.

Mining To Heighten Political Tensions

Protests Underpin Weak Central American Outlook
Americas - Mining Risk (Vertical Axis) & Reward (Horizontal Axis) Ratings

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