The number of Colombians who believe mining has a positive impact on the country’s economy continues to increase, a recent report by the National Association of Colombian Entrepreneurs states.
According to the document, 74% of residents of municipalities where mining operations exist and 64% of those in non-mining municipalities believe that mining is beneficial for the country.
The report, titled Mining Compass, is based on consultations with 2,600 citizens from mining and non-mining areas.
It also shows that the greatest improvement has occurred in places where thermal coal and construction materials are produced. At the regional level, the regions that have a better perception of mining are the northwestern Antioquia department and the northern Cesar, Atlántico, Bolívar and Córdoba departments.
When it comes to demographics, the poll shows that young people between 18 and 34 years old maintain a less optimistic view of mining compared to the rest of the age groups.
As Colombia nears a presidential election in May 2022, people were asked whether they would vote for a candidate that supports investment in mining projects. Opinions were divided, as 59% of those surveyed in mining towns said they would, while 50% of those in non-mining municipalities said they would vote for a pro-mining candidate.
“The overall improvement in the public opinion around mining is associated with three factors: first, people perceive that the sector’s environmental performance has improved; second, they seem to see that royalties are being put to good use; and third, they identify that mining is necessary not only for modern life but for the energy transition,” Jaime Arteaga, director of Mining Compass, said.