After receiving comments from interested citizens, the National Mining Agency (“ANM”) published the Resolution No. 266 of 2020, by means of which it modifies the administrative procedure for Special Reserve Areas (“ARE”), established in Article 31 of the Mining Code (the “Resolution”).
The Resolution complies with the guidelines set forth in the National Development Plan 2018-2022, which underlines the importance of proposing a legal framework that integrates differentiated mining and environmental instruments and strengthens the figure of the ARE as a legal mechanism for the formalization of traditional mining.
Thus, the Resolution contemplates 8 chapters and 26 articles that regulate the administrative procedures that must be carried out to request the declaration of an ARE, the causes for its rejection, the procedure for its delimitation, the rights and obligations of the beneficiaries of a declared ARE, the clauses to proceed on its termination, among others.
It is important to remember that, according to article 31 of the Mining Code, "the mining authority or the person acting on its behalf [...] shall delimit, in those areas where there are traditional informal mining operations, zones in which new proposals for all or some minerals will not be accepted on a temporary basis" with the aim of carrying out geological-mining studies and developing strategic mining projects in the country and its implementation.
In any case, the article establishes that "the geological-mining studies and the initiation of the respective projects may not take more than 2 years", and that the ARE concession will only be granted to the same communities that have carried out the traditional mining operations. Thus, The Resolution seeks to set forth the guidelines by which it delimits the procedure applicable to the ARE.
To see the Resolution, please click on the following link to see the Resolution: https://www.anm.gov.co/sites/default/files/resolucion_266_de_10_julio_2020.pdf