Challenges and Opportunities for the Mining Industry as a Potential Driver of Development in Colombia

Keywords: Environmental sustainability, social trends, sustainability and gold mining, quantifying environmental sustainability, environmental and resource sustainability


Mining has been included as the main driver of productive development in Colombia’s strategic development plan. In particular, the expansion of large-scale mining has been driven by emerging foreign investment interests and projects. The price of gold continues to rise, amidst the stock market crash caused by the coronavirus outbreak, reaching 1940 USD per ounce. In fact, gold has reached its highest values ​​in recent years, thus proving to be the mechanism for investors to avoid risk. Also, it has boosted the mining industry, as well as artisanal and small-scale mining. However, the consequences of the expansion of mineral extraction activities could lead to a state of environmental emergency, affecting not only the social sphere but also the ecosystems and the health of the surrounding communities. In this paper, we provide a literature review on the mining industry. In addition, we highlight its main challenges from a comprehensive and multidisciplinary contextual perspective that involves outlining some environmental indicators and their impact at the local level. This allows us to suggest, from an academic standpoint, the minimum bases required to implement best practices in environmental policy and, thus, achieve a more sustainable mining production. For this purpose, we define the critical factors for regulatory management and sustainability assessment—a fundamental strategy for decision-making in the sector. These critical points make it possible to prioritize the development of efficiency metrics in mineral transformation and contribute to the construction of common indicators for the protection of biodiversity. From a social point of view, a comprehensive management will strengthen best practices and call for corporate social responsibility to provide local communities with the necessary participation mechanisms to intervene in conflicts over mining areas.


Author Biographies

Juan D. Ospina-Correa*, Universidad Autónoma Latinoamericana, Colombia

Medellín- Colombia

Juan G. Osorio-Cachaya, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia

Medellín- Colombia,

Angela M. Henao-Arroyave, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia

Medellín- Colombia,

Diego A. Palacio-Acevedo, Servicios Hidrogeológicos Integrales S.A.S, Colombia


Jim Giraldo-Builes, Institución Universitaria Pascual Bravo, Colombia

Medellín- Colombia,


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How to Cite
J. D. Ospina-Correa, J. G. Osorio-Cachaya, A. M. Henao-Arroyave, D. A. Palacio-Acevedo, and J. Giraldo-Builes, “Challenges and Opportunities for the Mining Industry as a Potential Driver of Development in Colombia”, TecnoL., vol. 24, no. 50, p. e1683, Jan. 2021.


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