BOGOTA, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Colombia’s auditor general on Tuesday recommended that the government deny permission for what would be the country’s biggest gold project, saying that the mine would be located in an environmentally sensitive area.
AngloGold Ashanti (ANGJ.J) of South Africa has found what it says is one of the world’s 10 biggest gold reserves in the central province of Tolima.
The mine near the town of Cajamarca, with 13 million ounces of estimated reserves, could be ready to start producing between 2012 or 2014 if the government gives the go-ahead.
But Auditor General Edgardo Maya, who monitors the legality of government actions, sent a letter to the country’s environmental ministry recommending that it deny permission due to the fact that the deposit is located in a forest reserve.
Environment Minister Juan Lozano said he will consider the recommendation. (Reporting by Luis Jaime Acosta; Writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Christian Wiessner)