Colombia expects to give
AngloGold Ashanti, an environmental permit for exploration at
the stalled La Colosa project this month, Mining Minister
Hernan Martinez said on Wednesday.
Martinez said AngloGold, the world’s No. 3 gold producer,
would be allowed to restart exploration and would later have to
present an environmental management plan.
“It should be ready in coming days. It is with the
environment ministry and yes this will open for exploration and
later they can present the environmental management plan, I
hope it will happen this month,” Martinez said at a meeting in
AngloGold Chief Executive Officer Mark Cutifani told
Reuters earlier that he expected to receive support in about
three months to resume drilling at La Colosa, which the company
estimates has reserves of more than 12 million ounces.
The company said production at the mine could start within
five years if it gets the go-ahead.
Environmental officials in Colombia halted exploration work
at the site in the central Tolima province a year ago, saying
the drilling threatened forest reserves in the Andean country.
Cutifani said he had met the president, the minister for
mines, the minister for the environment as well as community
leaders to discuss the project.
AngloGold hopes to boost output to 6 million
ounces by 2013 and 7 million ounces by 2015 based on new mines
and expansion of ongoing operations around the world. (Reuters)