Haiti revising outdated mining laws

Haiti's government is revising its outdated mining laws with help from the World Bank.

The bank said in a brief statement it is supporting the government so it can develop mining in the country's northeastern mountains, according to the Associated Press.

Two mining companies began testing in the area for gold, copper and silver last year and their results indicate metals could be worth $20 billion.

When the legislation might be passed is unclear. While the Haitian prime minister said last fall the government hoped to pass a new mining law in six months, the country's parliament is controlled by representatives who are opposed to mining. Further, the senate has empty seats and no  elections have been scheduled.

The new mining law would set out royalties for the government — between 9% and 12% — as well as environmental protection.

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