Eco Oro to seek compensation for loss of asset within Colombian natural park

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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Canadian junior Eco Oro Minerals (TSX: EOM) will seek compensation from the Colombian government if it is "unable to make use of" any assets which fall within a recently designated park in Santander department, the company said in a statement.

The park at the Santurbán páramo does not impede development of Eco Oro's Angostura gold-silver project, the company said on Tuesday (Mar 5), reiterating a statement in January in which it said 90% of the deposit area is outside the park boundaries.

But Eco Oro will "take all action necessary to ensure that its rights are preserved", the company said, and "to the extent the company is unable to make use of its assets, it will seek compensation from the Colombian government in accordance with applicable laws and treaties."

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On Monday (Mar 4), Colombia's deputy mines minister Natalia Gutierrez said that the country is not planning to compensate mineral explorers whose licenses are affected by the park, Reuters reported, based on comments on the sidelines of the Prospectors and Developers Association conference in Toronto.

Colombia's mines and energy minister Federico Renjifo has reportedly said that mining companies already licensed and holding environmental permits will be allowed to continue working within the new park, but that no new projects will be approved and licenses will not be renewed upon expiry.