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El Salvador.

El Salvador

THE signing by the five Central American presidents of their peace plan on October 7, 1987, at Esquipulas in Guatemala, appears to have provided little, if any, economic benefits for El Salvador. The country's economy has suffered greatly from nearly a decade of civil war, compounded by persistent high inflation of around 30%. Austere and unpopular measures have been introduced by the government and economic targets have generally not been met, although a real GDP growth of about 2% was officially estimated for 1990, compared with only 0.9% in 1989. El Salvador continues to be heavily reliant on foreign aid from the U.S.A. and European countries, mainly Germany and Italy.

Mineral production is confined to gold, silver, salt and limestone but this activity is on only a very limited scale, reflecting the adverse effects of civil unrest, labour problems, and the lack of finance in respect of both new projects and mine rehabilitation. Cement is produced by Cemento Mayan SA at Canton Tecomapa, Metapan, and Cemento de El Salvador SA at El Ronco, also near Metapan. These two plants have rated capacities of 240,000 t/y and 684,000 t/y respectively. Other mineral occurrences reported in El Salvador include copper, iron ore, sulphur, mercury, lead-zinc, and perlite. In spite of some attempts by the government to promote the development of new mining projects, little if any progress has been made under the prevailing economic climate.

Gold has been produced by Minas San Cristobal SA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Javelin International Ltd, from its underground mine at San Cristobal in Morazan Department. There are no up-to-date details regarding the mine's current operational status but ore from this and other small mining operations nearby has been treated in a plant of 110 kg/y capacity. Another gold-silver property situated some 56 km northeast of San Salvador has been estimated to contain nearly 200,000 t grading 6.2 g/t Au and 23.56 g/t Ag to the 120 m level. Bruneau Mining Corp., Toronto, has been undertaking development work and rehabilitation of old workings.

El Salvador continues to rely entirely on imported oil to meet the needs of the 17,000 bbl/d Acajutla refinery operated by Refineria Petrolera Acajutla SA. Attempts have been made over the years to develop alternative domestic sources of energy and, in this context, hydroelectric power stations at Cerron Grande and San Lorenzo on the Lempa river have come into operation. There is also geothermal generating capacity at Los Ausoles, 60 km west of San Salvador.

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Title Annotation:review of the El Salvadorean mineral mining industry in 1990
Author:Notholt, A.
Publication:Mining Magazine
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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Next Article:Guatemala.

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