April 4, 2013
CALGARY, April 4, 2013 /CNW/ – Infinito Gold Ltd. (“Infinito” or the “Company”) announces that on April 4, 2013 it has served notice to the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica (the “Republic”) that Infinito considers the Republic to be in breach of the provisions of the Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica for the Promotion and Protection of Investments (the “Bilateral Investment Treaty”), in respect of the Republic’s treatment of Infinito’s investment in its subsidiary Industrias Infinito S.A. (“IISA”) and the Las Crucitas mining concession held by IISA.
Infinito has served notice to the Republic in accordance with Article XII of the Bilateral Investment Treaty, however, Infinito has invited the Republic to settle this dispute amicably pursuant to Article XII(1) of the Bilateral Investment Treaty. It is important to note that serving this notification to the Republic does not constitute the commencement of formal arbitration proceedings, however, if the dispute cannot be settled, Infinito is prepared to take all necessary steps to pursue its arbitral remedies under the Bilateral Investment Treaty.
By way of background IISA completed all the environmental, social and technical studies and obtained all approvals required under Costa Rican law to develop and operate the Las Crucitas Project. In February 2008, the Secreteria Tecnica Nacional Ambiental (“SETENA”) approved a modified Environmental Impact Study while in May 2008, the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energia confirmed Industrias Infinito’s Exploitation Concession. On October 17, 2008, then President Oscar Arias issued a Presidential Decree declaring the Crucitas Project to be in the national interest, allowing a change of land use permit to be obtained and for site clearing to commence.
On April 16, 2010, in response to a claim brought by a public interest group that had halted clearing and mine construction activities for 18 months, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (“SALA IV”) ruled that all of the objections that had been raised against the project were without merit (with one exception that was resolved by the time the legal process was completed). The Constitutional Chamber’s decision, which had involved a project site inspection in addition to oral hearings, included 340 pages of reasons released in July 9, 2010, which addresses all constitutional, legal and environmental/technical issues in depth.
Notwithstanding this complete and definitive ruling from the SALA IV allowing the Crucitas Project to proceed, IISA’s concession to develop Las Crucitas has been annulled by a decision made initially on November 24, 2010, by a lower Costa Rican court — the Tribunal Contencioso Administrativo (“Tribunal”) – and affirmed on November 30, 2011 by the Administrative Chamber of the Supreme Court (“SALA I”).
In its decision, the SALA I reached a conclusion that was the opposite of the conclusion the SALA IV had reached only a year and a half earlier, effectively upholding the Tribunal’s decision to annul IISA’s concession and invalidate its environmental approvals.
On November 11, 2010, IISA formally requested that the SALA IV enforce its decision in order to prevent any conflict between the SALA IV’s decision affirming the validity IISA’s permits and approvals and any inconsistent decision from the Tribunal or the SALA I. To date, the SALA IV has taken no action to respond to this request. As a result, Infinito and IISA find themselves in a legal vacuum, subject to two contradictory decisions with no basis under the Costa Rican legal system for resolving this conflict.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Information and Statements
Certain statements in this press release, including the Company’s evaluation of its legal rights and strategic options, address future events and conditions and, as such, involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the statements. These statements are made as of the date of this release but Company undertakes no obligation to update these forward-looking information or statements if circumstances or management’s estimates or opinions should change. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking information or statements.
INFINITO GOLD LTD.
Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
SOURCE: Infinito Gold Ltd.
For further information:
INFINITO GOLD LTD.
600, 1100 1st Street S.E.
Calgary, Alberta T2G 1B1
Telephone: (403) 444-5191