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AngloGold Ashanti: La Colosa Mine Project, Colombia

La Colosa is a 100%  AngloGold Ashanti-owned gold mining project in the Colombian municipality of Cajamarca (Tolima). AngloGold Ashanti is currently conducting feasibility studies (expected to run through 2015) to determine whether the area’s gold resources are economically viable. The mine is expected to produce over 25 Moz of gold over its lifetime with an annual production rate of 70 Mt per year. [1]
Several communities and civil society groups oppose the mine’s construction. In May 2013, the Toliman environmental authority ordered AngloGold Ashanti to halt its controversial activities in the central Colombian village due to regulation breaches concerning exploration and water use.[2] In a binding referendum, 99% of 2,995 ballots cast in the nearby municipality of Piedras were against the continuation of AngloGold Ashanti’s controversial gold mining operations in the area. The inhabitants fear that continued gold mining will threaten drinking and agricultural water sources.[3]
In December 2013, the Colombia Solidarity Campaign published its Alternative Report entitled “La Colosa: A Death Foretold.” Interviews with local community members, legal document analyses, and technical assessments included in the report conclude that the threats to communities and the environment posed by AngloGold Ashanti and the La Colosa mine have been drastically underestimated. Specifically the report cited the project’s negative impact on food and water security (compromising local agriculture and thus jobs), the environment (particularly through unreported violations of water/exploration permits and the unprecedented amount of waste that the mine is expected to produce), and labor rights.The report also reported AGA’s alleged involvement in political corruption, their intimidation of opposition groups, and their participation in tax havens. [4]