by Ally Foster, Embassy News, Wednesday, 01/15/2014
Although repeated attempts to get comment from Infinito Gold have gone unanswered, a news release on its website from Mr. Morgan said the company “completed all the environmental, social and technical studies and obtained all approvals required under Costa Rican law to develop and operate the Las Crucitas Project.”
Most critics of the mine raise environmental concerns, but Infinito has long maintained that it has an environmental management plan and it would pay for “periodic independent environmental audits.”
Despite a countrywide ban against open pit mining at the time, in 2008 then-President Oscar Arias made an exception and granted Infinito Gold permission to continue with its project in the national interests of the country. That permit was later revoked by the country’s highest court.
Costa Rica’s Attorney General is now investigating the Arias administration, and the alleged payment of $200,000 by Infinito’s main shareholder Ronald Mannix to Mr. Arias’s foundation within weeks of his decision to give back permission to the company to mine.