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Libertad mining project, Chontales, Nicaragua

Artisanal miners from Nicaragua oppose large-scale mining by the Canadian company B2Gold.


Ever since the Nicaraguan government declared its interest in 2001 to facilitate the development of mining projects, the number of Canadian investors in the Nicaraguan mining sector has increased.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Libertad mining project, Chontales, Nicaragua
State or province:Chontales
Location of conflict:Santo Domingo, La Libertad y San Pedro de Lóvago
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Tailings from mines
Land acquisition conflicts
Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

-In 2011 the company reported the extraction of 140 thousand troy ounces of gold in two different projects: El Limón (in the Department of León) and La Libertad (in the department of Chontales).

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Project area:28,200
Level of Investment for the conflictive project14,000,000.00 - 20,000,000.00
Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:18000 - 20000
Start of the conflict:2006
Company names or state enterprises:Desarrollo Minero de Nicaragua Sociedad Anónima (Desminic SA) from Nicaragua - B2Gold national partner
Corazon Gold Corp from Canada - owner
Cooperativa de Pequeños Mineros de Santo Domingo from Nicaragua - artisanal miners
B2 GOLD Corp from Canada - owner
Relevant government actors:Ministerio de Recursos Naturales y del Ambiente (MARENA), Municipalidad de Santo Domingo, Ministerio de Energia y Minas (MEM), Fiscalía de la República, Policía Nacional, Poder Judicial
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Centro Nicaragüense de Derechos Humanos (CENIDH), Partido Socialista Centroamericano (PSOCA), Movimiento Guardianes de Yaoska, Movimiento Mesoamericano contra el Modelo extractivo Minero (M4), Cooperativa de Pequeños Mineros El Jabalí (COOPEMIJA), Centro Alexander Von Humboldt de Nicaragua
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Artisanal miners
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
youth groups
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Development of a network/collective action
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Potential: Mine tailing spills, Other Environmental impacts
Health ImpactsVisible: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Potential: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
Proposal and development of alternatives:-the paid of loss of earnings
-invest in rural tourism and the continue of the artisanal mining
-Double standard applied by Nicaragua - complaining against Costa Rica gold mining projects but not doing anything in Nicaragua against pollution of Mico River.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:B2gold has obtained permission to exploit the Jabali vein in La Libertad affecting the income of the Santo Domingo community and the environment. Finally, the government of Nicaragua is violating the right of protest to the Nicaraguan people.
Documented reports of pollution of the river Mico and affectation to the people of the river bank , have failed to stop the project.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua
[click to view]

Ley especial sobre exploración y explotación de minas, Ley 387
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Technical Report, Jabali Project La Libertad Concession (2001). B2Gold
[click to view]

Nomel Pérez Soza (2013). Revista Envío.“En seis años se habrán llevado todo el oro”
[click to view]

La Prensa, Altos precios del oro animan exploración minera
[click to view]

Construcción de mina Jabalí de B2Gold comenzará este año
[click to view]

Centroamérica Mina Orosi
[click to view]

El Socialista Centroamericano. Nicaragua Mineros artesanales se rebelan contra la transnacional B2GOLD
[click to view]

La Prensa. Oro divide en Santo Domingo
[click to view]

La Nación Dominicana. Sube de tono conflicto minero con firma canadiense en Nicaragua
[click to view]

Contaminación acecha al río Mico
[click to view]

Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de America Latina OCMAL. Ceicom, Ficha de Registro Impactos Negativos de la mineria en Nicaragua.

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Mineros se enfrentan a antimotines, febrero 2013
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Patricio Chavez y Grettel Navas
Last update15/03/2016
Conflict ID:1509
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