New mining agency
The Colombian mining sector is undergoing an important transition: the Colombian government has announced the creation of a National Mining Agency out of INGEOMINAS and the Ministry of Mines and Energy, as well as other administrative changes.
Suspension of new applications
The February 2011 suspension of new mining concession applications has been extended for an additional six months, to February 2012. The objective is to clear a continuing backlog of pending applications, and to prepare for the creation of the National Mining Agency.
Last month, the Ministry of Mines and Energy presented the following initiatives:
- Creation of an independent National Mining Agency to administer mining resources.
- Substantial governmental investments in geological studies by a new division of the National Mining Agency. With this information, the Government will modify the existing mining contractual regime and will identify areas with geological potential for future bidding rounds (similar to those in the hydrocarbons sector)
- Stricter enforcement of mining legislation through frequent inspections
- Coordination between the National Mining Agency and the Ministry of Environment in granting environmental licenses
- A National Mining Agency social and communities subdivision to help the private sector in community relations
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