BOGOTA – Colombia’s mining industry is on track to bring in a record 8.8 trillion pesos ($ 2.2 billion) in taxes and royalties in 2022, the Colombian Mining Association (ACM) said Wednesday, adding that mining has become an essential sector for conversion into renewable energy.
If the forecast turns out to be correct, Colombia’s revenue from mining will jump 69% this year from a record 5.2 trillion pesos before 2021, the association said, citing rising prices to boost estimates.
In the first quarter of the year, mineral exports reached their highest level in a decade at $ 3.75 billion, the ACM said in a presentation, 44% higher than the previous year.
The growth was mainly driven by coal and furonicle, whose export prices rose significantly, the ACM said, while gold export prices fell slightly compared to the first quarter of 2021.
“Colombia and the world cannot survive without mining,” ACM President Juan Camilo Narino told reporters at a news conference.
Although coal is considered a major pollutant, environmentalists have identified it as a barrier to climate change, with advocates saying the technology could significantly reduce emissions.
Noting the importance of copper-like elements in building renewable energy infrastructure, he added, “The green earth we all want to see is unlikely to happen without further exploration.”
Ahead of the first round of Colombia’s May 29 presidential election, left-wing front runner Gustavo Petro has vowed to block a new oil deal and move the country away from hydrocarbon production.
He described both oil and gas as toxic and promised to prevent large-scale open-pit mining.
($ 1 = 4,033.85 Colombian pesos) (Reporting Margurita Choice by Oliver Griffin)