The Arenal Area Magazine

Chinchilla Stays Firm On "No Open Pit Mining At Crucitas"


Presidents Laura Chinchilla has ruled out any possibility of reversing her decision in the open-pit gold mine in Crucitas, near the Nicaraguan border, to resume operations. The mine operations were stopped by a decree signed by Chinchilla minutes after taking the presidential oath on May 8, 2010.

Chinchilla said Tuesday that overturning the decree would mean paying us$1.7 billion compensation to Industrias Infinito, the Costa Rican affiliate of Calgary-based Infinito Gold Ltd.

Chinchilla’s predecessor, Oscar Arias, signed a decree in 2008 declaring the project of national interest. In a cabinet session at the rear of the inauguration podium, immediately following her inauguration Chinchilla swore in her ministers and took the opportunity to sign the decree overturning the Arias decree.

However, the project has been halted by a court battle over its legality. Last week the Constitutional Court sent the problem back to the presidency.

Environmentalists say the area involved is part of the protected habitat of the great green macaw. They also say the project violates Costa Rica’s constitutional rules on the environment.

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