Endowed with few commercially valuable natural resources, Haiti maintained only a small mining sector in the late 1980s; mining accounted for less than 1 percent of GDP, and it employed less than 1 percent of the labor force. The country's only bauxite mine, the Mirago‚ne mine in the southern peninsula, produced an average of 500,000 tons of bauxite a year in the early 1980s; however, in 1982 the declining metal content of the ore, high production costs, and the oversupplied international bauxite market forced the mine to close. Bauxite had at one time been the country's second leading export. Copper also was mined, beginning in the 1960s, but production of the ore was sporadic.
Haiti contained relatively small amounts of gold, silver, antimony, tin, lignite, sulphur, coal, nickel, gypsum, limestone, manganese, marble, iron, tungsten, salt, clay, and various building stones. Mining activity in the late 1980s focused on raw materials for the construction industry. The government announced the discovery of new gold deposits in the northern peninsula in 1985, but long-standing plans for gold production proceeded slowly. With funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the government planned to perform its first comprehensive geological survey in the late 1980s.
|Country Studies main page | Haiti Country Studies main page|