Colombia: Mining

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered at on 20 July 2011.

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Photo of William Bain William Bain Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to his counterpart in Colombia on potential levels of population displacement in connection with the proposed development of the La Colosa gold mine in that country.

Photo of William Hague William Hague The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We have not made representations to the Colombian Government on this specific development. I discussed the regulation and environmental impact of mining with the Colombian Foreign Minister on Wednesday 13 July and agreed to continue co-operation to help improve standards in this area.

The key concerns for non-governmental organisations and the Colombian media about the proposed development are over water use and environmental impacts of the operation rather than population displacement. Currently, the development is only in the exploration phase, and the Colombian Government will need to give further approval before mining operations can begin. This will be in line with the new Mining Code which the Colombian Government are currently developing. We will continue following the development of the code to ensure that environmental provisions are robust.

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