Colombia is known to be a country that is strong in mining tradition, and this stemmed from the fact that communities located in rural areas belonging to both indigenous and afro-descendant are dependent on small scale mining. Be aware that Colombian mining industry has both simple to sophisticated extraction, ranging from stone and gravel, to coal, emerald, nickel and gold. In totality, it is amazing to know that the mining industry in Colombia extracts about 211 minerals throughout their national territory, making them one of the most important producers of nickel in South America, of coal in Latin America, and becoming second largest producer in the world for emeralds. Unfortunately, a rough period is being experienced by the mining industry in Colombia brought about by various judicial and administrative decisions, thereby creating a legal environment of instability and uncertainty for foreign investment. Thus, foreign companies who are affected by these decisions would come to file lawsuits against the state.
Colombia produced about 90.511 million tons of coal in 2016 according to the National Mining Agency, and these products came from the places of Guajira, Cesar, Cundinamarca, Boyaca and Norte de Santander. Compared to the past year, this figure shows a 5.8 percent recovery which is a record figure in coal production for this country.
The standards of mining in Colombia are different, from the development at various levels, and with the production and environmental management. Note that the small scale mining for example, is still the largest when you talk of production units, even if it is lacking still in its overall performance, it gives impact to employment generation and in adding value to the minerals extracted where capacity is concern. Where medium scale production is concern, they have a higher knowledge regarding resources and reserves, in planning strategies, and in their compliance with labor and health and safety standards, they are still belong to a higher level. In terms of large scale production, they execute this under the best technical, economic, environmental and social conditions, which proved to be beneficial for Colombia’s economy, in generating income and also on social and regional impact.
Know also that Colombia has a regulatory framework for its mining that composes different regulations corresponding to the various categories, from constitutional to technical norms, and these regulate the operations of day to day mining activities.
Also, be aware that under the mining regulations of Colombia, the principle states and to be followed, that notwithstanding grandfathered rights, all mineral resources and subsoil in the area fall under the ownership of the state, and therefore, exploitation can only be done prior to an authorization in the form of a mining title that is issued by a reputable authority.