By BLAKE SCHMIDT
Special to The Miami Herald
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- Canadian mining company Pacific Rim will take the Salvadoran government to international arbitration court for alleged losses caused by government ''inaction'' due to permit delays for what would be El Salvador's biggest mine to date.
The company has been waiting for four years for final permits for the underground gold mine, which faces staunch opposition from Salvadoran environmentalists and church leaders as the first large-scale mine in 70 years in Central America's smallest country.
The case is among the first international investment disputes under the Central American Free-Trade Agreement, or CAFTA, which eliminated barriers to trade and laid ground rules for such disputes. The Vancouver-based company invested $77 in exploration after it received initial permits in 2005.