November 25, 2010 / 2:11 AM / 9 years ago

Costa Rica court annuls Infinito Gold concession

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, Nov 24 (Reuters) - A Costa Rican court annulled a gold mine concession held by Canadian miner Infinito Gold Ltd IG.V on Wednesday, saying the company’s open-pit Crucitas mine was hurting the local environment.

“The existence of this damage has been proved during the case,” said Judge Grace Loaiza.

The administrative court’s decision comes after Costa Rica’s Supreme Court ruled in April that the Crucitas project could move forward. After that ruling, environmentalists put together a new case to challenge the mine’s legality.

Infinito Gold said through a spokesman it would appeal the administrative court’s ruling.

Infinito has already sunk $127 million on infrastructure into Crucitas, which has an indicated resource of 1.2 million ounces.

Costa Rica prides itself on its lush forests, a tourist attraction for the country. Congress approved a bill this month, which President Laura Chinchilla is expected to sign into law, to prohibit all new open-pit metallic mines in the country.

The law is not retroactive and would not apply to Crucitas. (Reporting by Alex Leff; Editing by Gary Hill)

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