Colombia Court Ban on Mining in ‘Paramos’ Won’t Affect Antioquia Project
Toronto-based Continental Gold announced February 10 that a new Colombia Constitutional Court ruling that bans mining in the high-elevation “paramo” wetlands won’t affect its big gold-mining development project in Buritica, Antioquia.
According to the company, “the main thrust of the ruling will be to eliminate the exceptions in the law which allowed certain mining operations in areas considered to be ‘páramos’ — high-lying wetland ecosystems located in the neotropics which are considered to be ‘water factories’.
“The company has no projects within its portfolio that are affected” by the paramo-areas minging ban, according to Continental.
“A second important objective of the ruling will be to eliminate the possibility of expedited land expropriations for Projects of National Strategic Importance (PINES) without previous public consultation with local communities, which mainly impacts the national government’s current ambitious [highway] infrastructure construction plan,” according to the company.
“This ruling will not impact the company as it has already acquired all necessary surface rights for the Buriticá project. Importantly for the company’s Buriticá project, the program governing PINES was declared constitutional in the Court’s press release, meaning that the national hovernment will continue to oversee, promote and supervise PINES projects.
“The court also indicated that ANLA (the National Environmental Agency) will not have sole exclusivity over permitting and maintaining environmental aspects of PINES projects.
“Continental’s Buriticá project was declared a PINES project by the national government in 2013, among other reasons because it will duplicate Colombia’s legal production of gold using mechanized mining that adheres to the highest international mining, safety, environmental and social standards, while generating important levels of quality job creation and fiscal contribution in an underprivileged area of Antioquia.
“The company maintains an excellent relationship with the national government as well as the newly elected (January 1, 2016) government in Antioquia (who are of the same party as the national government, which replaced the previous Green Party administration).
“Continental filed its updated Environmental Permit Amendment Application (EIA) with ANLA on January 20, 2016 and simultaneously sent a complete copy of the EIA to Corantioquia (the Antioquia autonomous regional environmental authority).
“The company has been informed by the national government that the permitting process is continuing on schedule, and will update shareholders if there is potential for an adverse impact on timing once the definitive rulings are made public by the Constitutional Court of Colombia.
“The company remains fully confident in its ability to permit the Buriticá project successfully in a timely manner,” according to Continental Gold.