Colombian Mining Association Head Says Sector Could Welcome $7 Billion USD in Foreign Investment in Next Four Years
The president of the Colombian Mining Association (ACM) believes that the South American nation’s mining sector could see some $7 billion USD in foreign investment over the next four years.
Group head Santiago Ángel made this projection during a recent press conference, according to local newspaper La República, highlighting his optimism for this “resilient” industry compared to the relatively underwhelming $2.6 billion USD that it has welcomed over the last four years.
“We were able to pass the down cycle, and hopefully we will not miss the good cycle,” said Ángel.
While the drop in revenue from low oil prices has hit the nation the hardest in recent years, the general fall in commodities prices across the board has reduced incoming revenue to the entire extraction sector.
Beyond pricing, the mining sector also faced new risks in Colombia over the past 18 months. Several communities across the country have held popular referendum ballots in which the local citizens have voted to ban mining in their municipalities.
While legal disputes remain ahead, the climate has put pressure on companies, particularly international mining interests, to work harder on community outreach to convince Colombians that mining is in their interest rather than something that will bring environmental harm without significant economic benefits for people in the area, as many social and conservation groups have claimed.
Though the federal government has been generally supportive of the industry, a presidential election will be held later this month that will bring a new head of state to the capital. Ángel, among other stakeholders in the mining world, are trying to ensure that the incoming leadership will be receptive to his message.
“We hope that the government that arrives will have the sensibility to understand this industry,” said Ángel, as reported by La República.