* Miner upbeat about relations with govt regarding water
* La Colosa manager sees the mine producing in 7 years
(Adds quotes, details, bylines)
By Teresa Cespedes and Eduardo Garcia
LIMA, May 19 AngloGold Ashanti (ANGJ.J) expects
to receive a water permit this year for exploration work on its
La Colosa gold project in Colombia, the company's site manager
said at an industry conference on Wednesday.
La Colosa Project Site Manager Aurelio Ganoza said the wait
for the permit has caused some delays for the South African
company, which expects to invest some $250 million in the
project between 2010 and 2012.
"We're expecting the water permits this year, providing
there is luck and (the government) is willing," Ganoza told
reporters on the sidelines of a biannual summit of gold miners
La Colosa was a greenfields discovery made in 2006 and is
located 93 miles (150 km) west of Colombia's capital city,
If AngloGold obtains the water permit, exploratory works at
La Colosa to conclude feasibility studies could conclude in
late 2012. Mine construction could go ahead between 2014 and
2016, the company has said.
Ganoza said that AngloGold sees La Colosa starting
production in about seven years and that the company is "very
optimistic" that negotiations with governmental authorities
regarding the use of water resources will come to a good end.
In February 2008, local authorities ordered the project
suspended on environmental grounds. A partial permit was
granted later by the central government.
The project would provide 4,000 jobs in Cajamarca town
during the 20-year life of the operation, if its 12.3 million
ounces in unproven resources are confirmed and the project goes
forward, the company has said.
Colombia will double its gold production over the next five
years to 3 million ounces, up from the 1.57 million troy ounces
produced last year, according to Asomineros, the country's
AngloGold is one of several international miners which have
been attracted to Colombia's rich resources as its security
Gold mining companies are expected to invest $400 million
in Colombia this year, according to the country's mining
(Writing by Terry Wade)