Report casts fresh doubt on AngloGold's La Colosa project

Report casts fresh doubt on AngloGold's La Colosa project

La Colosa, AngloGold Ashanti's flagship project in Tolima, Colombia.

The use of water resources by AngloGold Ashanti’s (NYSE:AU) gold project La Colosa, in Colombia’s Andean region of Tolima, would pose serious threats to the environment and locals, a recent report by London-based human rights organization Colombia Solidarity Campaign claims.

In La Colosa: A Death Foretold the group says the massive project would jeopardize a river basin, potentially reducing water supply for agriculture and consumption.

Although AngloGold Ashanti needs permission from the Colombian Minister of Environment to start exploitation (and this hasn’t been granted yet), the company already has offices and representatives in the region, which holds an estimated 12 million ounces of resources.

Mine construction of La Colosa was expected between 2014 and 2016, with production scheduled to start in 2016 or 2017, but the firm is now expected to conclude exploratory studies in 2015.

The report, published last month, is a result of over 100 interviews on the ground, legal document analysis, and technical assessment by Dr. Mark Muller, a highly respected international expert on mining, the human rights group said.

According to local paper El Espectador (in Spanish), La Colosa has become one of the most opposed mining projects in recent years.