MAC: Mines and Communities

Colombia mining projects delayed over environmental issues

Published by MAC on 2011-10-31
Source: Colombia Reports, Reuters

Thousands march in protest against La Colosa

Colombia mining projects delayed over environmental issues

By Tim Hinchliffe

Colombia Reports

24 October 2011

Colombia's foreign-led Angostura and La Colosa mining projects have been delayed due to environmental concerns.

Protesters march against mining in Cajamarca
Protesters march against mining in Cajamarca.
Photo: El Nuevo Día

Canadian based mining company Eco Oro (formerly Greystar) announced that it will develop the Angostura gold and silver mining project as an underground-only operation. The announcement was made following the decision to withdraw its open-pit proposal, due to protests that the project may harm water resources that supply 2.2 million inhabitants.

According to Business News Americas, the Angostura projects were to have processing plants located at between 11,000 and 12,500 feet above sealevel for their open-pit mine. Areas above 10,000 feet are considered by Colombian law to be "paramos," neotropical ecosystems where mining is prohibited.

The underground project would supposedly protect paramo and lead to a "smaller project footprint" as well as have minimal affects on the sub-surface aquifier.

At the same time, the La Colosa mining project funded by South African company AngloGold Ashanti has faced setbacks due violations of local water regulations.

The La Colosa project will be delayed until 2018, two years later than the planned completion date of 2016. It is also set to cost much more than originally expected, costing $3.5 billion instead of the previously expected $2.7 billion.

Commenting on the projects, Colombia's Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Frank Pearl said, "in each case, we will go into depth; we will have a direct dialogue with the communities and the private sector to determine what standards - if they are possible - will be used in these projects and in this economic activity."

On October 14 some 10,000 people marched in protest against the La Colosa mine project for its exploitation of Colombian land by multinationals.

10,000 march in protest against gold mine project in Colombia

Colombia Reports

14 October 2011

Some 10,000 people marched in protest against a planned gold mining project, La Colosa, which is located in the municipality of Cajamarca, Tolima, center-west Colombia.

La Colosa is a massive gold mining project being developed by the world's No. 3 gold producer AngloGold Ashanti. The project was suspended in 2008 on environmental grounds and a partial permit was later granted.

According to radio station Caracol, the protesters, along with local unions, have asked the government to prevent the process of exploration and subsequent exploitation of La Colosa.

Authorities report that no one was injured during the demonstration.

Gran Colombia's Mazamorras exploration camp attacked


12 October 2011

Canada's Gran Colombia Gold , currently the largest underground gold and silver producer in Colombia, said its Mazamorras exploration camp was attacked by unknown invaders who set fire to buildings and caused considerable damage.

The company, that has six underground mines in operation in Colombia, said no employees or contractors were injured.

Gran Colombia said it is evaluating the extent of the damage and the effect it will have on the drilling program underway at the property.

The miner said Mazamorras is not a producing property and the damage has not affected production at its Segovia or Marmato properties.

The Toronto-based company's shares closed at 68 Canadian cents on Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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