Colombia’s foreign-led Angostura and La Colosa mining projects have been delayed due to environmental concerns.
Canadian based mining company Eco Oro (formerly Greystar) announced that it will develop the Angostura gold and silver mining project as an underground-only operation. The announcement was made following the decision to withdraw its open-pit proposal, due to protests that the project may harm water resources that supply 2.2 million inhabitants.
According to Business News Americas, the Angostura projects were to have processing plants located at between 11,000 and 12,500 feet above sealevel for their open-pit mine. Areas above 10,000 feet are considered by Colombian law to be “paramos,” neotropical ecosystems where mining is prohibited.
The underground project would supposedly protect paramo and lead to a “smaller project footprint” as well as have minimal affects on the sub-surface aquifier.
At the same time, the La Colosa mining project funded by South African company AngloGold Ashanti has faced setbacks due violations of local water regulations.
The La Colosa project will be delayed until 2018, two years later than the planned completion date of 2016. It is also set to cost much more than originally expected, costing $3.5 billion instead of the previously expected $2.7 billion.
Commenting on the projects, Colombia’s Environment and Sustainable Development Minister Frank Pearl said, “in each case, we will go into depth; we will have a direct dialogue with the communities and the private sector to determine what standards – if they are possible – will be used in these projects and in this economic activity.”