The International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is currently in the final stages of arbitrating a dispute between the government of El Salvador and Pacific Rim LLC, a gold mining company recently acquired by Australian mining firm OceanaGold. The ICSID proceedings began in 2009, when Pacific Rim claimed El Salvador unlawfully denied the company permission to extract gold at its El Dorado mine complex.
According to the government and a large coalition of organizations and citizens of El Salvador, the mining process would contaminate or otherwise render unusable a significant part of the country’s water supply. The government claims that Pacific Rim has failed to meet environmental and public health requirements for mining operations. The government further claims that Pacific Rim has failed to acquire titles to all of the land included in its mining proposal.