(BBC) – The new government of Honduras has announced that it will ban open-pit mining in the Central American nation.
The government, which was sworn in last month, also said that it would cancel environmental permits for mining operations across the country.
It is not yet clear if the cancellation will apply only to new projects or also to those already operating.
For decades, indigenous groups have complained of legal and illegal mining in their ancestral lands.
Honduras mines gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc but on Monday the Ministry of Mining described “extractive exploitation” as “harmful to the state of Honduras”.
It argued that mining threatened natural resources and public health as well as limiting access to water.