Multinational mining company AngloGold Ashanti started exploring for
gold in the mountains of Cajamarca, central west Colombia, without the go-ahead of authorities, indigenous say.
AngloGold Ashanti was licensed by the Colombian Institute for Geology and Mining
(Ingeominas) to explore in the mountains of Cajamarca but has still not received permission to start operating. The company, nevertheless, has already started the exploration, Evelio Campos, general coordinator of Ecotierra, a Cajamarca NGO, claimed.
By exploring the potentially god-rich area, the multinational is violating “the Constitution of Colombia, the environmental standards, local development plans,” Campos told news agency EFE.
According to the spokesman of Ecotierra, the company needs one million of explosives and three million cans of cyanide to exploit the whole mine. The use of chemicals pollutew the groundwater in an area with 101 springs and three rivers that merge to the big river Coello.
The small Andean town of Cajamarca mostly lives off agriculture and relies on the water resources.
Representatives of indigenous groups and African descendant met to discuss the affects of mining concessions in Bogota Friday. According to the National Indigenous
Organization of Colombia (ONIC), 65 percent of the existing mining concessions in Colombia are on
indigenous or African descendant’s land, exploiting and destroying the communities’ natural environment.