Unlike some of its neighbors, which have suspended mining operations, Nicaragua is actively encouraging extractive industries.
A high-powered delegation attended Canada’s biggest mining conference, held in Toronto earlier this month, in order to attract new investment.
Several Canadian mining companies already operated in Nicaragua, including B2Gold, Hemco, Condor, Calibre Mining, Alder Resources, Corazón Gold and Golden Reign Resources.
Both Costa Rica and El Salvador prohibit mining operations, which in addition have come under attack from environmentalists and native groups in Panama and Guatemala.
More than any country in the region, Nicaragua has come out most firmly in support of the industry.
Opponents of extractive industries cite pollution risks, and the relatively short life of mining operations.
On the other hand, supporters argue that a well-managed mine poses little danger to the environment, and that mining is a lucrative industry, which can contribute significant royalties to a host county.
Central America has a total of some 25 existing and potential mines, the majority Canadian-owned.
The region has deposits of gold, copper and nickel, among other metals and minerals.