Last month the Humala administration’s firm deadline for all miners to formalize their operations took effect on April 19. Government officials earlier announced that 70,000 out of 110,000 unlicensed miners started the formalization process; however, the total number of unlicensed miners is difficult to pin down due to the amount of illicit operations in remote areas. Minister of the Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal said in a recent interview that the government has the goal of bringing the small-scale miners into the formal mining industry or driving them out of business altogether, as seen by the recent police actions in the state of Madre de Dios.

An informal mining operation. Photo: Andina/Referential

It will take the government several months to sort through the tens of thousands of applications. In the meantime, other South American countries will be adopting similar policies to stop illicit mining operations as well. Original story on the coordinated efforts from Sophia Guida at Peru this Week:

Representatives from Peru, Colombia and Ecuador met in Quito on April 24 and 25 to formulate a joint-effort to halt illicit mining operations and also to provide means of formalization to informal miners. The representatives came from different sectors, including mining, environmental protection and defense, according to a report published today in Andina.

The conference dealt with three main topics. The first session meant to identify the prevalence of formal, informal and illicit mining, and thereby clarify distinctions between the three categories. The second session looked at ways to regulate mining across the three countries. The third examined different means of reversing some of the environmental degradation that is prevalent in mining projects.

In addition, the goal of the conference was to share different approaches utilized by the three countries. The representatives then put together a report, which will be shared with the governments of the participating countries.