Santo Domingo.- A team of UN experts will assess the feasibility studies of the Loma Miranda mining project in the multinational Xstrata Nickel, whose exploration phase was halted by a Dominican Republic court on a challenge by environmentalists.
"We will not make a recommendation to 'exploit or not exploit', that’s a government decision," UN Program for Development (UNDP) deputy representative Roberto Galvez told The Associated Press. He said the evaluation will start this week.
In a recent interview Galvez said foreign experts will analyze the environmental impact, hydrogeological and socioeconomic studies submitted by Falcondo, Xstrata Nickel’s local subsidiary, to mine Loma Miranda and determine if they comply with the country’s laws and international conventions.
In 2008 Canada based Xstrata Nickel acquired around 1,380 hectares in Loma Miranda, 100 kilometers north of the capital, to start extracting nickel in 2016. The company, which has been in the country since 1955, and has conducted drillings, has yet top obtain the permit from the authorities.
The company has announced its plan to operate a quarry mine during 25 years to extract around 20 million tons of ore, of which 1.5% is nickel.