MAC: Mines and Communities

Colombian court kills recently passed mining laws

Published by MAC on 2011-05-24
Source: MarketWatch (2011-05-12)

Colombian court kills recently passed mining laws

By Dan Molinski

MarketWatch

12 May 2011

BOGOTA - Colombia's Constitutional Court has struck down strict mining regulations passed last year, but said the regulations will remain in effect for two years to give Congress time to draft and approve a replacement bill.

Water sources in páramo de Santurbán
Water sources in páramo de Santurbán - Photo: Gabriel Aponte

In a ruling late Wednesday, the court said the new mining code was unconstitutional because indigenous communities and afro-Colombians living in mining areas weren't consulted.

Among the rules in the 2010 mining code is a ban on mining in highland ecosystems known as "paramos."

Canada's Greystar Resources Ltd. was forced two months ago to scrap its years-long plan for an open-pit silver and gold mine, partly because the Angostura mine project was located in the "paramos" of northeastern Colombia. Government officials have said, however, that they had environmental concerns about Greystar's project even before the new mining code was passed.

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