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The Ministry of Natural Resources has received complaints of elevated illicit mining and dredging activities within the marine environment surrounding San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. The Mining Unit, along with the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Staff, is investigating these activities to confirm the extent and those involved.

Based on the outcome of the investigation the Ministry will take the necessary steps to address any infringement of regulations.

The Ministry of Natural Resources reminds the Public, specifically persons engaged in mining and dredging activities, that it is an offense to mine, prospect and/ or remove minerals without first obtaining a permit or license from the Mining Unit of the Ministry of Natural Resources. Any person who is found carrying out these activities without the requisite permit or license commits an offense and will be held liable on conviction to fines and/or imprisonment under the Mines and Minerals Act Chapter 226, Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2000-2003.

The Ministry of Natural Resources further advises that an Environmental Compliance Plan (ECP) issued by the Department of the Environment, is not a permit or license and approvals are still required from the requisite regulatory bodies for permits or licenses for various activities under the ECP.

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Dorian Nuñez

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