The mining firm COGEMA was the first in carrying out exploration work in the area since 1991. In 1993 the companies Newmont Mining and TVX Gold became COGEMAs joint venture partners and the drilling activities became the responsibility of Newmont. This joint venture consortium lasted few years as the results obtained were not very promising. IAMGOLD acquired the Cerro Casco, Cristal, and Rio Falso concessions from COGEMA in March 1999. These mining deposits overlap with a Protected Forest with important headwaters. Local inhabitants were aware of Newmonts works but it was not until IAMGOLD presence in the area (2003) that local opposition became activated. During the following years local resistance and mobilization grew amidst of community division conflicts among mining opponents and supporters. As it was not the only mining project in the area, local communities extended their alliances both within the province and beyond. Generally speaking, local opposition has been responded by the government with violent repression. Since 2008 onwards the government attitude toward mining activity has became more radical in its promotion. Currently, it is negotiating the terms of the exploitation contract with IAMGOLD. Yet, local opposition has not ceased.