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Bellavista Gold Mine Starts Commercial Mining

January 6, 2006

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,

2005).

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