Community Victory: Nicaragua Halts Canadian Gold-Mining Project

Published 13 October 2015

After months of campaigning, the Nicaraguan government has revoked B2Gold’s permit to mine Rancho Grande.

The Nicaraguan government has declared that the Canadian company B2Gold’s bid to open a gold mine is “unviable” due to its environmental impacts: the result of a long campaign of community resistance to the project.

“The project is not feasible due to the damage that it would cause would cause in nature, the environment, the sources of water and the way of life of people,” government spokesperson Rosario Murillo told reporters on Monday, rejecting the plans to exploit resources of Rancho Grande, in the Matagalpa region.

Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, approved the repeal of B2Gold’s permit for the El Pavon project, based on an analysis by the environment and natural resources ministry.

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The news comes as a victory to communities in northern Nicaragua, which have been fighting to protect their land from the Vancouver-based B2Gold’s program.

“I believe that on this occasion, the government has respected the will of the population and has listened to the popular clamor,” said Matagalpa bishop Rolando Alvarez, a key figure in the battle against mining in the area.

“We’re beset by foreign mining companies interested in gold exploitation, which now gives rise to the threat of losing everything,” he said at the march.

The bishop marched alongside thousands of residents Oct. 2, in protest against the planned exploitation. According the present government, the license for the Canadian company was granted before 2007, and authorized during the period of neoliberal governments.


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