TORONTO, March 4 Colombia will not offer
compensation to mineral explorers whose licenses are affected
by a new wilderness park in the country's northeast, Vice
Minister of Mines Natalia Gutierrez said on Monday.
In an interview in Toronto, she reiterated that companies
that already have environmental permits to mine will be allowed
to do so until their permits expire.
Explorers who have been active in the region but have yet to
receive an environmental permit will lose any mineral rights
that fall within the boundaries of the new park, she said.
At this point, the government is not thinking of "any
compensation," she said on the sidelines of the Prospectors and
Developers Association conference.
Colombia said in January it would create a 12,000 hectare
(30,000 acre) wilderness park in an environmentally sensitive
area of Santander province, an area rich in gold and silver.
Canada's Eco Oro Minerals is one of a number of
companies active in the region. It has said its Angostura gold
and silver project would be affected by the new park and that it
will seek compensation for assets it is not able to make use of.