In times of great challenges for the Colombian mining industry, I am leading, from the Ministry, a work team that focus on a healthy transition towards the mining of the future, accepting that our valuable sector requires a reinvention, and a renewal of public policies and regulatory frameworks, to continue to be successful and continue contributing to Colombia’s defeat of poverty.
I am convinced that small and medium mining can coexist with large mining. I firmly believe that mining is a sector that can generate social and environmental value, and be a base for social development, if we have the tools, leadership and adequate communication channels. I am sure that a formalized mining, with an adequate regulatory framework, is essential and strategic for the country in post-conflict times.
Currently, after a career that has led me to various positions in the regional and national public sector, I am the Vice-Minister of Mines of Colombia. Among other positions, I have served as Secretary of Finance of the Huila department, department of great energy and mining importance; also, I have worked as Director of Mining, Director of Mining Formalization and advisor for economic affairs of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, to which I returned since more than year and a half. I also worked as Regions Assistant Manager of the Adaptation Fund of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, where I promoted an important process of socio-economic reactivation that allowed me to approach communities and build social value in infrastructure projects throughout the country.
As a result of these experiences, I participated in the reform of the General Royalty System, making effective the substantive reforms proposed in the Constitution, as well as the restructuring of the mining institutions carried out in 2011, that allowed the creation of entities such as the National Agency of Mining, the Colombian Geological Service and the Mining Formalization Directorate of which I was the first director and from where I participated in the structuring of various programs for the formalization of small mining and the control of the illegal exploitation of minerals.
My approach to mining is closely related to my experience in national and regional governments, but also to my academic training that includes various types of studies in economics, finance, public policy, defense and mining, in institutions such as the Catholic, Rosario and the Andes Universities in Colombia, FLACSO in Mexico and the War College. I have also participated in several courses and seminars on the mineral resources governance in institutions such as the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute and the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering of the British Columbia University in Vancouver Canada, as well as in the Blavatnik School of Government of the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics in England.
Additionally, I have been a university professor and mining consultant, as well as an associate researcher at the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering on issues of mine training and coexistence between small and large mining.
The current process that I am leading in the Colombian mining sector has allowed me to understand from a global, national, regional and local perspective, the realities of the different types of mining, especially at small scale, while reflecting and acting on territory about the socio-environmental challenges of an indispensable sector for the world in which we live.