Mining is not an important sector of the Nicaraguan
although the small amounts of gold and silver that are
provide much-needed export income. The country's two
gold and silver mines are the Bonanza and the Siuna mines,
located in northeast Nicaragua about 100 kilometers west
Puerto Cabezas. A small gold mine, the El Limón mine,
north of León. All mines were nationalized by the
1979, and state control, combined with the fact that the
largest mines are in areas where the Contras operated,
production of gold and silver to drop in the 1980s. The
production figures of 875 kilograms of gold and 500
silver were less than half the 1983 production figures.
amounts of copper, lead, and tungsten have been mined in
past, and the country has unexploited reserves of
tungsten, molybdenum, and phosphate.
Data as of December 1993