Colombia to auction mining areas with potential copper, gold

El Cerrejón site. Photo by Cerrejón Colombia.

Mining companies interested in bidding for potential exploration and development permissions in Colombia should register from Feb. 11 for multiple rounds this year, the government said on Tuesday, as it continues efforts to diversify mineral output.

The Andean country has long hailed its as-yet largely untapped deposits of gold and copper, among other minerals, as the future of its mining industry, especially as low global prices have battered coal.

“Colombia has important potential in metal minerals like gold, silver, copper and now has a different and innovative model to advance in mineral exploration,” Mines and Energy Minister Diego Mesa said in a statement, adding the country is looking to attract investors with high social and environmental standards.

Colombian miners of coal have suffered amid falling demand, low prices and disputes with unions and communities

“In this way, we can determine with certainty our mineral wealth to develop new projects and spur sustainable reactivation, creating employment and resources like royalties that promote equity and development,” Mesa added.

Contracts for four areas with potential copper and polymetal in the northern provinces of La Guajira and Cesar will be on offer in the first round, which is set for Feb. 25, the statement said.

Colombian miners of coal – the country’s second top export – have suffered amid falling demand, low prices and disputes with unions and communities.

Colombian coal miner Cerrejon, whose production fell nearly 52% last year amid the coronavirus and a record 91-day strike, said on Tuesday a community blockade of its train line was affecting exports, though it did not have data on how much.

(By Luis Jaime Acosta and Julia Symmes Cobb; Editing by Chris Reese)


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