The Colombian Mines and Energy Minister has announced plans to strengthen the licensing and control of the mining industry, reported local media Tuesday.
A new auditing system will be introduced, implemented by a company that will be chosen through a bidding process starting next month, said Mauricio Cardenas.
The auditor will be charged with making sure Colombia’s mine operators, which number about 9,000, comply with strict operating and labor regulations and meet environmental, economic, legal and security standards.
Cardenas said under the new system inspectors should visit small mines at least twice a year and large ones four times a year, and report back to the National Mining Agency.
Mine operators which are failing to meet requirements will have their licenses revoked.
The auditor will receive a budget of $85 million for a two and a half year contract.
Cardenas said, “We are going to select from companies highly specialized in consulting, auditing and quality-certifying (…), so that we can exercise a much more rigorous, complete and high-quality auditing of the mining industry.”