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USAID Launches ‘Oro Legal’ Responsible-Mining Projects in Antioquia

Published in general news Written by  March 04 2016 font size decrease font size increase font size 0
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The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced March 4 the launch of “Oro Legal” projects aiming to promote environmentally and socially responsible gold mining in Antioquia and Chocó departments.

Among the companies that will cooperate in the projects is Medellin-based gold-mining giant Mineros SA, recognized nationally and internationally for its leadership in environmentally and socially responsible mining practices.

“We have agreed to a memo of understanding with ‘Oro Legal’ to work cooperatively” on the projects, Mineros SA director of corporate responsibility Jaime Jaramillo Arbelaez told Medellin Herald.

According to the USAID announcement, “Oro Legal” aims to foment good mining practices among small and artisanal miners in cooperation with large-scale miners (including Mineros SA) as well as government mining and environmental agencies.
The new program will operate in 20 municipalities in Antioquia and Chocó, “putting special emphasis on recuperation of degraded [mining] areas, protection of water resources, reduction in mercury use, promotion of mining legalization, greater participation of artesanal gold-mining associations, formalization of afro-Colombian and indigenous miner training and technical assistance, and creation of [alternative] productive activities,” according to USAID.

The “Oro Legal” project aims to legalize and formalize 220 artesanal mining areas, rehabilitate 11,500 hectares of lands previously degraded by mining, support the production of eight tons (per year) of legal gold, eliminate 55 tons of toxic mercury used in gold refining, cut mercury-caused air pollution by 30%, train 3,500 artesanal miners in responsable practices, and develop productive chains for alternative agro-industrial products including achiote in Choco, Acacia plantations in Antioquia, and bee-keeping projects in Antioquia, which will benefit some 2,500 families.

Antioquian municipalities that will benefit from the new projects include Caucasia, El Bagre, Zaragoza, Nechí, Tarazá, Cáceres, Remedios, Segovia, San Roque and Buriticá.

Chocó municipalities involved in “Oro Legal” will include Quibdó, Rio Quito, El Carmen de Atrato, Unión Panamericana, Quibdó, Condoto, Cantón San Pablo, Istmina, Nóvita, Medio Baudó and Tadó, according to USAID.

Read 5997 times Last modified on Last modified on March 05 2016

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Medellin Herald is a locally produced, English-language news and advisory service uniquely focused upon a more-mature audience of visitors, investors, conference and trade-show attendees, property buyers, expats, retirees, volunteers and nature lovers.

U.S. native Roberto Peckham, who founded Medellin Herald in 2015, has been residing in metro Medellin since 2005 and has traveled regularly and extensively throughout Colombia since 1981.

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