7 of September of 2020
Differential criteria for awarding small-scale miners’ concessions

Following to the mandate of the constitutional court judgment C-389 of 2016, the Ministry of Mines published for comments a draft decree that aims to add a section to Chapter 4 "Mining Formalization" of Title V of Part 2 of Book 2 of Decree 1073 of 2015 - Single Regulatory Decree of the Administrative Sector of Mines and Energy , establishing the differential requirements for the award of concession contracts to small-scale miners and beneficiaries of return of areas for mining formalization.

Thus, the decree contains provisions that directly impact: 

a. Natural or legal persons who are Small-Scale Miners and do not have a mining title; 
b. Beneficiaries of Return areas for mining formalization; 
c. Interested parties with requests in process of proposals for  concession contracts, legalization or formalization of traditional mining and special reserve areas; and
d. Beneficiaries of special reserve areas delimited or declared, who opt for the conversion of their applications. 

Small-scale Miners will be understood as those: (i) carrying out mining works in an area of no more than 100 hectares; and (ii) with maximum annual production within the following parameters:

Differential criteria for awarding small-scale miners’ concessions

This classification will also apply to beneficiaries of return areas for formalization. 

With regard to the procedures for: (i) proposals for a concession contract; (ii) legalization or formalization of traditional mining; (iii) special reserve area;  and (iv) beneficiaries of delimited or declared special reserve areas, interested parties may choose to continue the procedure under which such requests were submitted, or to benefit from the provisions of the decree (conversion procedure). The conversion will involve submitting a new proposal for a differential concession contract. 

Among the requirements to apply for a differentiated concession contract by Small Scale Miners and Area Return Beneficiaries for formalization, we find:

1. Technical Annex, which should include (i) the minimum exploratory program, (ii) labor and environmental suitability; and (iii) the estimate of the minimum investment required for exploration (contracts commencing at the operating stage shall submit the investment estimate based on the financial flows of the current operation).
2. Accreditation of economic capacity, in accordance with the differential criteria issued by the National Mining Agency in development as provided for in article 22 of Law 1753 of 2015. 

The differential concession contract shall be granted in the exploration stage with advance operation, with a term of 3 years, which may be extended for 2 years, and for one time only, provided that the request for extension is duly justified, and is made with no less than 3 months before the expiry of the initial period, on the understanding that to carry out construction and assembly and exploitation activities, the titleholder must obtain approval of the technical annex and the small-scale environmental license.

The benefits derived from the subscription of differentiated concession contracts under this new regime are:
(a) Comprehensive technical accompaniment by the mining authority; and 
(b) Differential control and surveillance.

Please refer to the following link to consult the draft decree

Comments should be made until September 6 to the e-mail: 




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