Colombia’s mining and energy minister says that contracts with Drummond and Cerro Matoso will only be renewed if it is in the interest of the nation.
Ferronickel mining company Cerro Matoso, controlled by BHP Billiton, sought to renew its contract after 30 years of operation, according to El Espectador.
Alabama-based firm Drummond applied in March to extend their contract by 30 years. It currently runs from 1988 to 2019.
The subject of the extensions will be evaluated in the coming days, the minister said.
Drummond is planning a $1.5 billion mining project that would run until 2060. The company pointed out in the application that a project of this size could only be undertaken with the certainty of a contract extension.
Drummond is Colombia’s second-largest coal exporter. It has two coal mines in Colombia, Pribbenow and El Descanso, both located in the northern Cesar province.
Families of murdered Colombian unionists have brought lawsuits against Drummond for its alleged complicity in the killings, which were carried out by paramilitaries.
The company faced strikes in May from workers seeking better pay.