THE Bellavista open-pit gold mine, in
the town of Miramar, near the Pacific port
city of Puntarenas, officially started commercial
operations last month, according
to spokeswoman Kattia Chacón.
After receiving the approval of government
institutions for more than 250
permits required for operation, the mine
received the final permit it needed from
the Ministry of Public Health in late
December, allowing it to begin commercial
mining on Dec. 23, Chacón said.
The mine, managed by Metales
Procesados M.R.W., S.A., a subsidiary of
the Canadian mining company Glencairn
Gold, will extract 60,000 ounces of gold
from Miramar during the next eight years,
said a statement from Bellavista.
The mine, which opened in April 2004
and began preliminary gold extraction one
year later, has raised fierce criticism from
environmentalists (TT, Nov. 26, 2004).
The mine is one of two gold-pit mines
in the country declared exempt from a
moratorium on open-pit mining signed in
2002 (TT, June 7, 2002).
The other is Las Crucitas open-pit
gold mine, in the country s Northern
Zone which awaits only minor permits
before scheduled construction of the mine
can begin around mid-year (TT, Dec. 23,