Glencairn Gold Corporation began operating at the Bellavista site near Miramar in Costa Rica in 2003 in spite of concerns by locals, warnings by scientists of the riskiness of the area for large-scale open-pit mining, and an impending ban on open-pit mining in the country.

Canadian mining corporation Glencairn (now Central Sun Mining Inc headquartered in Toronto) established its gold mine in an unstable area with heavy rainfall and provided insufficient funds for mine closure and cleanup.

The mine had a leach pad rupture and probably contaminated waterways with cyanide and other chemicals.

San Juan River

Cerro Crucitas in northern Costa Rica is an area covered mostly in forest that is part of the Pay y Agua Biosphere Reserve created in 2007. The region is home to farmers and a number of protected and Endangered species. These includes species like the Great Green Macaw and Geoffrey's spider monkey.

Canadian mining company Infinito Gold (Vannessa Ventures) is planning to destroy Cerro Crucitas and its forests. The Canadian company wants to put an open-pit gold mine in the area. Located in a region with heavy rainfall, the mine would also threaten to contaminate waterways with cyanide and heavy metals that could flow to the San Juan River on the nearby border with Nicaragua. The company was so intent on imposing the project on Costa Ricans that it inappropriately started cutting the forest down until a legal injunction stopped them. Infinito has also sued the Costa Rican government for halting development of the mine.

Earthworks Journal — spring/summer 2011

July 7, 2011

Hunger strikers challenge Costa Rica mine decree

October 26, 2010 • Scott Cardiff

Defenders of the communities in Costa Rica threatened by Infinito Gold's Crucitas mine have been on a hunger strike for over two weeks to urge the government to revoke the mine's special decree.

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Costa Rican forests threatened by gold mine

July 26, 2010 • Scott Cardiff

One of the "Golden Rules" principles says mining companies should not operate in protected areas, fragile ecosystems, or other areas of high conservation or ecological value. Infinito Gold clearly did not get the message. They are trying to impose an open-pit gold mine on communities in the Agua y Paz (Water and Peace) Biosphere Reserve in Costa Rica.

Bellavista Mine Background

September 10, 2007 • Lynn Schneider