On July 11, 2022 the Law 2250, “whereby a new legal framework for mining legalization and formalization, as well as for its financing, commercialization is adopted, and a special environmental regulation is established” entered into force
According to the bill’s purpose and justification, this new law aims at filling the current legal gaps on this subject and therefore promoting mining legalization and formalization. In order to do so, the law includes, among others, the following provisions:
- New definition of traditional mining, which is understood as mining conducted by individuals or corporations, including communities or individuals’ associations, who have continuously exploited state-owned mines without a duly registered mining title, for at least 10 years as of the issuance of this law.
- In order to implement legalization and formalization processes, the mining authority may use concession contracts with differential requirements, special reserve areas and special concession contracts, mining subcontracts and areas return with a specific recipient, among others.
- In case of overlap between the area subject to formalization and existing mining titles, the Ministry of Mines and Energy (“MME”) shall mediate between the parties. Also, the mining authority shall verify the status of compliance of the titleholder with the obligations arising from the mining title and, if there is cause for early termination of the title, the authority shall conduct the corresponding administrative procedure and declare the early termination within the following 6 months.
- Marketers of gold, silver, platinum, tantalum, tin and tungsten shall apply due diligence in the supply and origin of such minerals, according to the criteria to be issued by the MME.
- Judicial disputes related to the denial of areas subtraction, environmental permits or licenses for small mining titleholders, which prevents the normal execution of contractual obligations, shall be considered as force majeure.
- The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development shall establish differentiated requirements for the temporary environmental license for mining formalization.
- Additional measures such as the creation of a Mining Promotion Fund, the adoption of a circular economy model in the mining industry and the implementation of additional mechanisms for the control on minerals marketing are also included.
Author: Angela Salazar