Hundreds of protesters gathered in Doima, a small town in central Colombia, about 80 km West of the capital Bogota, to oppose a proposed AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) (JSE:ANG), gold processing plant for its 100%owned La Colosa project.
According to Colombia Reports, locals worry about potential water supply pollution in the municipality of Las Piedras, an agricultural area dominated by large-scale rice production, which may be home to AngloGold’s plant.
"We only have one source of water, the river," one of the protestors was quoted as saying. "If they pollute the river and streams it will be the end of everything […]. And we are scared because this is a big company doing business all around the world."
South Africa's largest gold miner by output has serious plans for La Colosa, as it believes it has the potential to become South America’s leading gold mine. The ore body is currently being tested at depth to 1,000 m while drilling to the northwest of the concession area shows improving grades (up to 1.9g/t).
La Colosa, expected to open in 2018, could produce at least 700,000oz/y of gold and cost $3.5 billion.
Over the last two years, the project has triggered demonstrations from farmers and environmentalists, who claim the project is located in a sensitive ecosystem.
Other operations of AngloGold Ashanti in Latin America include the 92.5%-controlled Cerro Vanguardia mine in Argentina, and the fully owned AngloGold Ashanti Brasil Mineraçao and Serra Grande mine in Brazil.
Image courtesy of Colombia Solidarity