Four Central American nations have put a halt to new mining projects fearing environmental and political protests.
Mining has been a cause of frequent protests by residents who fear losing their land or access to resources such as clean water in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras and El Salvador.
Costa Rica banned new open-gold mining projects in the country last month.
The country’s only open-pit gold project, owned by Canada’s Infinito Gold, has been caught up in environmental issues for two years and has faced criticism from environmentalists who allege it will destroy virgin forest and cause pollution.
The Government of El Salvador has also said it wants a complete ban on mining and does not recognise mining permits granted by the country’s previous government, according to Reuters.
Guatemala and Honduras have also suspended new mining projects until new legislation that tightens up environmental rules has been approved.