October 7th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) Canadian mining firm, Infinito Gold, announced on Friday that it will move forward with a $1 billion lawsuit against Costa Rica a moratorium on open-pit mining put the brakes on development of its open-pit mine in 2010. Lawmakers and regulators also claimed there were “irregularities” in the original permitting process.
The company had planned to extract 800,000 ounces of gold from a 261-hectare open-pit mine in San Carlos. Environmentalists strongly opposed the plan, which would have destroyed 190 hectares of forest.
The company had issued an ultimatum to Costa Rica on April 4th, stating the country had six months to allow the company to resume work at its Crucitas mine or face a more than $1 billion lawsuit. That deadline expired on Friday.
The lawsuit will take place at the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), an agency of the World Bank.
“We believed our investment was guaranteed, our company was invited to perform (mining) operations in the country, and we will see this through regardless of the consequences,” company spokesperson Yokebec Soto said back in April, adding that the company has invested $92 million in the project.
Costa Rica President Laura Chinchilla said the next day that the “case was closed.”
This isn’t Infinito’s first billion-dollar lawsuit in Latin America.
Earlier this year, the ICSID dismissed a $1 billion claim the company filed against Venezuela. Venezuelan officials confiscated the company’s Las Cristinas mine in 2001, resulting in a more than 10-year battle between the company and that country.