Libertad mining project, Chontales, Nicaragua

Mineros artesanales de Nicaragua se oponen a la minería a gran escala de la empresa canadiense 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
NameLibertad mining project, Chontales, Nicaragua
SiteSanto 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
Land acquisition conflicts
Tailings from mines
Mineral processing
Specific CommoditiesWater
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).

-B2Gold expects to extract between 150 000 oz and 160 000 oz of gold per year, at a cash cost of about $590/oz to $625/oz. In comparison, the artisanal miners extract around 2400 oz per year.

- 300 direct and 500 indirect jobs in Santo Domingo

- Each ounce of gold is valued between 1300 - 1700 dolars

- 20 ha deforest for the expansion of the Libertad mining proyect (vein Jabalí)

- The artisanal miners stop perceiving an income of 340 000 us dollars per month (180-200 oz per month valued in 1700 dollars)
Project Area (in hectares)28,200
Level of Investment (in USD)14,000,000.00 - 20,000,000.00
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Population18000 - 20000
Start Date2006
Company Names or State EnterprisesDesarrollo 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 actorsMinisterio 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 organisations and other supportersCentro 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
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups MobilizingArtisanal miners
International ejos
Religious groups
Local ejos
Social movements
Local government/political parties
Local scientists/professionals
youth groups
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationBlockades
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-economic 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
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Criminalization of activists
Technical solutions to improve resource supply/quality/distribution
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
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 as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.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 and Materials

Constitution of the Republic of Nicaragua
[click to view]

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


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]


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]

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

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

Contaminación acecha al río Mico
[click to view]

Centroamérica Mina Orosi
[click to view]

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

Media Links

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

Other Documents

Libertad para los detenidos en Santo Domingo
[click to view]

Artisanal miners Actividad minera tradicional en el río Sucio, cerca del barrio Jabalí. Municipio Santo Domingo, Departamento de Chontales.
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorPatricio Chavez y Grettel Navas
Last update15/03/2016