- The Vice-Minister of Mines, Carolina Rojas Hayes, highlighted that the contribution of the mining sector to national development has been $14 trillion pesos in royalties over the past 10 years.
- The Vice-Minister of Energy, Diego Mesa, emphasized the significance of generating sustainable development within the sector and holding a fluid dialogue with the communities.
Ministry of Mines and Energy. Bogota D.C. November 27th, 2018. During her participation in the 7th Canada-Colombia Dialogue, the Vice-Minister of Mines, Carolina Rojas Hayes, underlined the importance of mining to the social and economic development of regions. According to this official, the mining sector contributed $14 trillion pesos in royalties to the country over the last ten years.
"During the next 10 years, it is expected that this contribution will reach about $16 trillion pesos. That is why the Development Plan will seek to make the mining sector carry out contributions and bring dynamism to territorial development on an even greater level, by increasing mineral production and diversifying our mining matrix," she stated.
In this sense, the Vice-Minister explained that, although the country currently produces mainly coal and gold, it maintains a great potential for other minerals, such as copper, which is necessary for generation based on renewable energy sources, as well as other minerals that the country could provide.
Rojas underlined the importance of building effective communication channels with the communities through a coordinate effort from the National Government, which will enable interactions that share the different agendas for mining development which shall be built by starting from the territories.
"Within the mining sector, we are implementing a conversation strategy with local authorities, known as MINA, which involves sitting down with mayors and governors in order to understand the needs related to the presence of this industry throughout the region and address their concerns," she added.
The Vice-Minister called on businessmen, trade associations and other sector actors in order to make sure that the contributions made by the industry within the regions become increasingly visible, "for example, through the democratization of the use of royalties, which involves seeing how we can optimize these resources in order to display the results of the contributions made by the sector," she indicated.
Likewise, the Vice-Minister of Energy, Diego Mesa, pointed out that contributing to national economic development in a sustainable manner is important for the sector. Therefore, by establishing a commission of experts, the goal is to produce a technical, environment, social and economic debate regarding the exploratory phase of hydrocarbons located in unconventional deposits (YNC).
"The commissions keeps working and concerning the topic of communities it has moved to different sites of the national geography in order to directly listen to the communities within the territories by, for example, arriving at San Martin within Puerto Wilches and reaching Barrancabermeja," he stated.
The Canada-Colombia Dialogue is an initiative of the Colombo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, which has been working ever since eight years ago in order to seek a more fluid interaction between authorities, intellectuals and businessmen, regarding topics of interest for both countries.