The ANM identified and reserved new areas with potential for mining activities in Colombia

On June 15, 2017, the National Mining Agency (the "ANM") issued Resolution No. 135, which delineates and reserves a total area of 11,647.3764 hectares with high and medium potential for mining activities in the departments of Antioquia, Caldas, Cesar, Chocó, Guajira, Huila and Tolima.

This resolution seeks to comply with the order given by the Constitutional Court in Ruling C-035 of 2016, which analyzed the constitutionality of Article 108 of Law 1450 of 2011 and Article 20 of Law 1753 of 2015 that granted to the ANM certain powers to create strategic mining reserve areas. These areas have significant potential for mining activities and are reserved to be granted by the ANM through competitive bidding processes .The Constitutional Court had instructed the ANM that, in order to create such areas, it must first : (i) include local governments in the process of delineation of such areas in light of the fact that governments have the power to regulate land use within their jurisdictions; and (ii) consult with ethnically differentiated communities through a prior consultation procedure.

Consequently, Resolution 135 of 2017 preliminarily identified areas with medium and high potential for mining activities and reserved them to commence the relevant concertation proceedings with local governments and prior consultation with ethnically differentiated communities in the affected areas, aimed to the declaration of the strategic mining reserve areas. Once these negotiations are completed, the ANM will most likely issue a new resolution with the final delineation of the relevant areas and their declaration as strategic mining reserve areas.

Historically, Antioquia has been the department with the largest production of gold and silver in Colombia, while Chocó has been the largest producer of platinum, second in gold and third in silver. Caldas ranks second in the production of silver, while Tolima ranks ninth in the production of gold, and seventh in silver. Huila ranks eight in the production of silver and fourteenth in gold. Finally, both, Cesar and Guajira are well known for their world class potential in coal mining.

Please enter the following link to see the full text of Resolution 135 of 2017:

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.