Government mining bill unveiled in Colombia


Amid the greatest mining boom in this country’s history, Colombia’s government is advancing a controversial new mining bill that officials say will bring order and higher environmental standards to the chaotic minerals sector. But environmentalists say the legislation, now being presented to indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities for their comment, favors large multinational mining companies over artisanal miners and will do little to guarantee sustainable production. “This is a law made for the big mining companies,” says Manuel Rodríguez, a former environment minister. The bill, to be sent to Congress in the next few months, would reform a system in which mining titles often were awarded online without evaluation of the petitioner’s technical or environmental expertise. It will restrict most mining concessions to some 22... [Log in to read more]

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