McGill Research Group Investigating
Canadian Mining in Latin America

Las Cristinas, Venezuela

Key Data

Company:Crystallex Operational status:advanced development Materials extracted:gold Type of mine:open pit Main issues:permitting, labour/livelihood


Synopsis: Beginning around 2005, Crystallex came into conflict with local mining communities, who protested for the right to do artisanal mining in the area around Las Cristinas, where small-scale mining (often illegal) forms the basis of the local economy. In 2011, as part of the Venezuelan government’s push to privatize the gold extraction industry, Crystallex’s permit to operate the mine was unilaterally revoked. Soon after, the company filed for arbitration, seeking more than 3.8 billion USD from the Venezuelan government the cancellation of the permit, which caused Crystallex’s stock value to drop.


Timeline of Key Events