CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

Latin America & the Caribbean

Nicaragua / Condor Gold-01/Santa Cruz de la India

11 individuals with the support of Centro Alexander von Humboldt, Centro Nicaraguense de Derechos Humanos (CENIDH), and Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Date Filed
July 26, 2018
Compliance with IFC Performance Standards, water quality and quantity, lack of consultation and information disclosure, potential impacts to biodiversity, risk of seismic activity, risk of displacement
Case Status
Open - Compliance


Project Overview 

According to IFC’s disclosures, Condor Gold is a dual listed AIM and TSX junior exploration company based in London, and focused on gold exploration in Nicaragua. The Company holds a total of 386.26 km2 of licensed concessions in Nicaragua, with eight concessions that comprise La India, the company’s flagship project. Condor holds its Nicaraguan concessions through two wholly owned subsidiaries incorporated in Nicaragua (Condor S.A. and La India Gold S.A.). IFC’s equity investment in Condor is to support its exploration program at La India, and to fund studies required to advance the La India Project from Pre-Feasibility Study to Bankable Feasibility Study. The project is classified as Category B, denoting potential limited adverse environmental and social risks.



The Complaint

In July 2018, CAO received a complaint from eleven community members residing in Santa Cruz de la India, supported by the Centro Alexander von Humboldt, Centro Nicaraguense de Derechos Humanos (CENIDH), and Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL).

The complaint claims that Condor Gold’s La India project is in violation of national and international laws, and IFC’s Performance Standards and Access to Information Policy. It also raises concerns regarding actual and potential social and environmental impacts including, lack of consultation and information regarding the project, depletion of underground water sources and reduced access to water for part of the affected community, risk of involuntary displacement, risk of seismic activity, and potential impacts to biodiversity and the ecosystem. The complaint also cites the criminalization of community actions in response to the project. 



CAO Action

CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in August 2018. During CAO’s assessment, while the company expressed their openness to dispute resolution, the complainants conveyed to CAO that they wished for the complaint to be addressed by CAO’s Compliance function. Due to the lack of consensus amongst the parties to engage in a CAO dispute resolution process, which is voluntary, the complaint has been referred to CAO’s compliance function, in accordance with CAO’s Operational Guidelines. An assessment report is available at the below link. 




The case has been referred to CAO’s Compliance function for an appraisal of IFC's environmental and social performance in relation to the project.


Note: A CAO assessment does not entail a judgment on the merits of complaints.  Rather, the aim is to listen to people's concerns, understand the different perspectives, and determine what options are available to address the complaint through CAO's Dispute Resolution and Compliance functions.


Status as of March 25, 2019

Project information

Project Name & Number
Condor Gold Plc. 32519
Oil, Gas, Mining, & Chemicals
Condor Gold Plc
Latin America & the Caribbean
Environmental Category
Equity up to US$ 10 million

Case Tracker


  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: Completed


  • Under Appraisal: In Process