Canada-based exploration and development firm Continental Gold has signed formalisation sub-contracts with five of seven small-scale mining firms, for implementing mining operations at its Buriticá project in Colombia.

The company will sign the remaining two sub-contracts after reviews by the Secretary of Mines of Antioquia.

Executed under Law 1658 of 15 July 2013, the sub-contracts will be regulated by Decree 480 of 6 March 2014 and will shift all legal responsibilities from the company to the individual mining associations.

The Buriticá project has a combined measured and indicated resources of 1.6 million ounces of gold grading at 13.6g per tonne, and combined inferred resources totalling 3.8 million ounces of gold grading at 8.8g per tonne.

"We look forward to working jointly towards the implementation of these new small-scale mines." 

The seven firms at Buriticá will directly benefit 583 families in Colombia, and indirectly help the growth of local economy, communities and the government’s tax base.

Additionally, the formalisation sub-contracts will serve as an example for other Colombian regions to learn how mining companies, small-scale miners and the government can operate symbiotically.

The sub-contracts will also discourage illegal mining activities at a specific area.

Continental Gold COO and president Mark Moseley-Williams said the company is pleased for the miners involved in this process, and are proud that they have decided to incorporate the law into their operations.

"We look forward to working jointly towards the implementation of these new small-scale mines," Moseley-Williams said.

Continental Gold CEO Ari Sussman said that the execution of these sub-contracts is a landmark triumph for Colombia and represents an important milestone in the maturation of the Colombian gold mining industry.

Sociedad Minera San Román representative Miguel Ángel Úsuga said this is an extremely important opportunity for them, and it will contribute towards different social projects that will positively impact the region, while improving the quality of life of their families.