Ironically, it was only after the catastrophic 2010 earthquake that investors saw real opportunity. Fifteen days after a seismic jolt brought down much of Port-au- Prince, a Canadian exploration firm acquired all of the shares of the only Haitian firm holding full permits for a promising chunk of land in the northeast.
“Investors want to get in at the bottom,” said Dan Hachey, president of Majescor Resources, the Canadian company, “and I figured after that earthquake, Haiti was as low as it could get.”
Hachey was also betting that the $10 billion in foreign assistance promised for earthquake recovery would force change and accountability.
Three firms are considering mining in Haiti, but so far only SOMINE has full concessions to take the metals out of the mountains. Those permits, for 31 square miles, were negotiated in 1996 under President Rene Preval and require the firm to hire Haitians whenever possible.
In exchange for minimal permit fees, SOMINE committed to spend $2.25 million in the first two years. In addition, it will pay $1.8 million after a feasibility study,