Colombia gives greater scrutiny to mining projects


Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos often has called mining “the locomotive of the economy.” With Colombia attracting more than US$13 billion in foreign oil and mining investment last year, few people would argue the point. Backed by investment-friendly policies and lax environmental regulation, the mining sector has steamed ahead, nearly tripling its share of the nation’s exports to 22% during 2000-12 and showing every sign of continued growth. But now, after years of green-lighting large gold, copper, nickel and coal projects, Colombia’s central government and its local authorities have begun to apply the brakes in at least some cases, concerned with the potential impacts on air and water quality. Colombian communities that had fruitlessly protested mining projects are taking heart. Environmentalists are... [Log in to read more]

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