Costa Rica reaffirms opposition to open-pit gold mining
Guatemala and Honduras have suspended new mining projects until legislation is passed to tighten environmental rules.
A third Central American state, Costa Rica, has also called a halt to all open-pit gold mining.
Meanwhile, a domestic court has confirmed the injunction against an existing gold project.
Appeals Tribunal Leaves Injunction in Place at Crucitas Gold Project
Canada NewsWire via COMTEX
17 June 2010
Infinito Gold Ltd. (the "Company") announces that the Costa Rican Tribunal de Apelaciones (the "Appeals Tribunal"), which heard the appeal of the decision of the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo (the "Administrative Tribunal") described in our news release of April 25, 2010, has left in place an injunction prohibiting the Company from re-commencing work on its Crucitas gold project in Costa Rica.
The injunction was originally filed with the Administrative Tribunal on April 17, 2010 and remained in place following the decision of the Administrative Tribunal disclosed in the Company's press release dated April 25, 2010.
The Company has argued the injunction should be lifted and the matters dismissed in large part because a higher court has already ruled on the substance of these matters. The Appeals Tribunal previously advised it would need to see the higher court ruling before it could accept this argument. As at the date of the Appeal Tribunal's decision, however, the full written ruling of the higher court still had not been released and the Company has not been advised as to when it will be released.
While the injunction halting activity on the mining and tailings area will remain in place the Company is still advancing through the legal process of the Administrative Tribunal. This process is addressing the filings that were entered in late 2008 by a group opposed to the Crucitas project. A preliminary hearing to review this process was scheduled for June 16, 2010 but the hearing has been postponed until August 11. 2010.
At this hearing the Company's Costa Rican counsel has advised that the Company can request that the injunction be lifted in addition to presenting arguments requesting the Administrative Tribunal challenge be dismissed. The Company has not had the opportunity to fully review the complete decision by the Appeals Tribunal and will consider all legal options.
INFINITO GOLD LTD.
President and CEO
Costa Rica Firm On No Open Pit Gold Mining
Inside Costa Rica
3 June 2010
Costa Rica is one three Central American countries that have called a halt to new open pit mining projects. Fearing environmental and political fallout from mining, Costa Rican president, Laura Chinchilla, signed the decree banning all new open-pit gold mining within minutes of taking office on May 8, 2010.
Bucking the trend in Central America is Nicaragua and Panama.
Open pit mining has become a controversy in Costa Rica and Central America, sparking sometimes violent protests.
The Chinchilla order was aimed at the Crucitas project, Costa Rica's only open-pit gold mine and owned by Canada's Infinito Gold Ltd.
The project had been tied up in courts for two years and weeks before the Chinchilla ban, Infinito had received the green light to move forward with the project by Costa Rica's Constitutional court, but halted days later by a lower court order required the project to answer a number of environmental concerns brought up by environmentalists.
The government decree put an end to the Crucitas project.
Both Guatemala and Honduras are also holding off on new mining projects until new mining legislation is passed by lawmakers in their respective countries, laws that would tighten environmental rules.
Meanwhile, both Nicaragua and Panama are actively seeking investors.
Panama's president Ricardo Martinelli, who is pro-business, said that untapped copper reserves cold generate billion of dollars for Panama.
In Nicaragua, president Daniel Ortega, is now open to capital investment to help Nicaragua become a major gold exporter. To that end, last month Ortega inaugurated the B2Gold Corp mine.