Resolution to adopt a New National Mining Policy

Last updated: 6 December 2023

In August 2022, the Council of the State, within the process of Popular Action 2013-02459-01, ordered the Ministry of Mines and Energy to update the National Mining Policy within 6 months. Thus, in June 2023, the Ministry released the proposal for a new National Mining Policy entitled “A New Vision of Mining in Colombia.” The new policy projects a reorientation of the mining industry to meet the objectives of the National Development Plan 2022-2026, with a view to 2035. 
The Policy is oriented by six guiding approaches:

  1. Human rights approach, through the implementation of due diligence instruments;
  2. Gender approach recognising differentiated impacts on women;
  3. Differential approach recognising the ethnic, cultural and population diversity; 
  4. Comprehensive management approach to climate change;
  5. Systemic approach guaranteeing adequate interaction between the actors, processes and environments;
  6. Environmental management and responsible production approach that facilitates a shift from an extractive model to a productive model.

Furthermore, the Policy identifies 10 problems in the mining industry and proposes a set of strategic measures for each:

  1. To resolve the insufficiency in mining-environmental land-use planning:
    • Create exclusion zones and management plans in protected areas;
    • Formulate a National Mining Development Plan with a view to 2035.
  2. To address institutional weaknesses:
    • Unify technical criteria and improve technological interfaces;
    • Create an Intelligence Unit to support decision-making based on data and knowledge;
    • Promote regulations for the management of degraded areas, the establishment of long-term mining planning, and the constant updating of strategic minerals.
  3. To address weaknesses in the control and supervision model for mining titles:
    • Update procedures for granting mining titles to guarantee sovereignty and proper use of nonrenewable natural resources;
    • Advance the implementation of a new Mining Law and implement a mechanism to validate the information provided by applicants, strengthen citizen participation, and establish a rigorous protocol for the constant updating of excluded and restricted areas.
  4.  To address lack of effective social participation in mining development activity:
    • Strengthen the participation mechanisms in the granting of mining titles and environmental licensing;
    • Increase transparency and access to information, and establish dialogues between interested parties.
  5. To increase recognition of ancestral, artisanal, traditional and small-scale mining:
    • Design strategies for diversification in the mining industry that achieve economic empowerment and access to new job opportunities;
    • Establish a tripartite program between the State, mining companies and scientific research centres to facilitate formalisation of these sectors;
    • Industrialise strategic minerals.
  6. To improve the national geo-scientific knowledge base:
    • Advance the creation of the National Geo-scientific Knowledge Plan for land planning, land and subsoil use, water management, the evaluation of geological risks and the investigation of strategic mineral resources.
  7. To strengthen mineral value chains and industrialisation of the sector:
    • Create a supplier program and undertake research on uses and added value;
    • Improve the traceability and fair marketing of gold by implementing Due Diligence and establishing chain of custody protocols;
    • Create of a public mining company similar to Ecopetrol to manage resources and achieve strategic goals (e.g., re-industrialisation and the formalisation of small-scale miners).
  8. To improve mining practices with an emphasis on the circular economy:
    • Include good practice standards in Work Plans as requirements for mining projects;
    • Finance good mining practices and BAT standards for small-scale miners through the Mining Promotion Fund;
    • Create a national outreach strategy with actions to address climate change and promote resilience and adaptation. 
  9. To reform the mine closure process:
    • Amend article 24 of Law 1753 of 2015 to define scenarios, requirements and activities for partial and final mine closures;
    • Update the Terms of Reference for the Mine Closure Plan with contractual stages;
    • Implement Resolution No. 40279 of 2022.
  10. To address unauthorised mineral exploitation:
    • Improve monitoring and traceability mechanisms;
    • Create an Intersectoral Committee against unauthorized exploitation;
    • Promote the safety of miners in the formalisation process in coordination with the Ministry of Defense.

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