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Be Aware of the Mining Laws in Colombia

It is said that the indigenous and afro-descendant communities belonging to the rural areas of Colombia are dependent on small scale mining, thus Colombia is claimed to be a country with a strong mining tradition. Be aware that Colombian mining industry has both simple to sophisticated extraction, ranging from stone and gravel, to coal, emerald, nickel and gold. In totality, it is amazing to know that the mining industry in Colombia extracts about 211 minerals throughout their national territory, making them one of the most important producers of nickel in South America, of coal in Latin America, and becoming second largest producer in the world for emeralds. Unfortunately, a rough period is being experienced by the mining industry in Colombia brought about by various judicial and administrative decisions, thereby creating a legal environment of instability and uncertainty for foreign investment. These various decisions then have led for foreign firms to file against the state some lawsuits.

In 2016, the National Mining Agency claimed that Colombia produced tons of coal at around 90.511 million tons, coming mostly from Cesar, Guajira, Cundinamarca, Boyaca and Norte de Santander. There is then an established record figure in coal production for this country considering the amount represents 5.8 percent recovery as compared to last year.

Note that mining in Colombia has different levels of development, from standards in production to the environmental management standards. Note that the small scale mining for example, is still the largest when you talk of production units, even if it is lacking still in its overall performance, it gives impact to employment generation and in adding value to the minerals extracted where capacity is concern. It is also observed that their projects belonging to medium scale production have a character of higher knowledge on resources and reserves, in terms of planning strategies, and that they have a high leverl of compliance on standards of labor and mining health and safety. Where large scale projects are concern, their execution is also under the best technical, economic, environmental and social conditions, of which the country’s economy would find important, an income generating capability, and also impacts on social and regional.

Be further informed that what comprises the regulatory framework for mining in Colombia are various regulations that correspond to the different categories, from the range of constitutional to technical norms, which for day to day mining operations, are regulatory.

Also, be aware that under the mining regulations of Colombia, the principle states and to be followed, that notwithstanding grandfathered rights, all mineral resources and subsoil in the area fall under the ownership of the state, and therefore, exploitation can only be done prior to an authorization in the form of a mining title that is issued by a reputable authority.

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