The US Pledges to Help Colombia Develop Mining Sector

Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, made it known recently that his office would be launching a program that will provide Colombia’s mining industry with the assistance needed for its development.

On the visit to Colombia, the Secretary of State revealed that the proposal would be organized by the Department of State Energy Governance and Capacity Initiative.

In a press conference that was held at the Presidential Palace last Saturday, Pompeo told Iván Duque, Colombia’s president, that American and Colombian companies could do a lot of good together, what with the welcoming investment atmosphere and good governance, fair and open relationships and transparent rules. The companies, he said, could provide good employment opportunities.

The project will begin by evaluating the mining industry of Colombia to see how it’s doing while comparing it to the mining industries of other countries in the area. After this, the next step will be to review the regulatory and legal framework of the country and figure out ways to make the framework more competitive. Additionally, the project will also assess the regulations governing the country’s copper mining sector as well as its environmental sustainability, with a focus on the best ways to store mine tailings.

Once the coronavirus pandemic ends, Colombia will be launching 33 energy and mining projects. It is expected that these projects will generate more than 50,000 employment opportunities and rake in roughly $9.6 million in terms of investments.

In a media statement, Diego Mesa, Colombia’s mining minister, said that the United States government was a tactical partner that would help enhance the sustainable recovery of the mining and energy sectors through the fulfillment of the America Grows Initiative. He added that the Colombian mining sector had been liaising with the U.S. government through USAID to help encourage the formalization of artisanal miners.

Legal Gold, which is a USAID program, helps make illegal mines legal and minimizes mercury use in gold mining operations while also calling for the implementation of zero mercury technologies.

In the fight against illegal mining, the Colombian Ministry of Mines and Energy receives support through a State Department agreement that allows land packages to be monitored when there is evidence of alluvial gold exploitation.

Coincidentally, the minister added that the U.S. Labor Department had helped Colombia to improve the working conditions in small scale gold and coal mining operations and also eradicate child labor in the mining sector.

This planned cooperation is likely to bring trickle-down benefits to the mining sector, including companies like Energy Fuels Inc. (NYSE American: UUUU) (TSX: EFR).

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