Exceptions to the Restriction of Free Movement for the Mining Sector 

April, 2020 - Marianna Boza

Through Circular 4011 of 2020, the Ministry of Mines and Energy presents the considerations regarding the application of the exceptions to the restriction of free movement for the Mining Sector, as established in Article 3 of Decree 531 of April 08, 2020, by means of which"(...) it gives instructions under the health emergency caused by the Coronavirus COVID-19 and set measures for the maintenance of public order."

The considerations are made in relation to the provisions of numerals 13, 28 and 33, of article 3, of Decree 531 of 2020, in relation to the Mining Sector that is mentioned below:

Article 3. Guarantees for the mandatory preventive isolation measure. In order for the mandatory preventive isolation to guarantee the right to life, the health in connection with life and the survival, governors and mayors, in the context of the health emergency due to the Coronavirus COVID-19, will allow the right of movement of people in the following cases or activities:


Article 13. The activities of public servants and State contractors that are strictly necessary to prevent, mitigate and attend the health emergency due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 and to guarantee the operation of the indispensable services of the State.


Article 28. The activities necessary to guarantee the operation, maintenance, storage and supply of the provision of (i) public services of aqueduct, sewerage, electrical energy, public lighting, cleanliness (collection, transportation, use and final disposal, including biological or sanitary waste); (ii) of the logistics chain of inputs, supplies, for the production, supply, import, export and supply of hydrocarbons, liquid fuels, biofuels, natural gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas —GLP-; (iii) of the logistics chain of inputs, supplies for the production, supply, import, export and supply of minerals; and (and) internet and telephone service.


Article 33. The activities strictly necessary to operate and carry out the essential maintenance of companies, industrial plants, or mines, of the public or private sector that due to the nature of their production process require to maintain their operation uninterruptedly.


1. With respect to the considerations of numeral 13 of article 3, it establishes that they are included as operation of essential state services, emergency services, disaster prevention and monitoring of natural phenomena at the national level, among which it includes:

a. The transfer and transportation of supplies, personnel and equipment for the attention of mining emergencies and the carrying out of investigations of mining accidents throughout the national territory.

b. The activities necessary to carry out the supervision of mining activities.

2. Regarding number 28 of article 3, the transportation (maritime, rail, river, and air) of supplies, personnel and equipment, as well as the import of supplies, raw materials, infrastructure, spare parts, equipment and, in general, all kinds of cargo and materials that are necessary to guarantee the continuity of the mineral production and marketing logistics chain, including:

a. Maintenance of infrastructure and equipment associated with mines.

b. The continuity of the operation of the mines in all the stages that have the installed, operational, financial and human capacity, which is essential for compliance with the health guidelines and protocols issued by the national health authorities, that are required for care, prevention, mitigation and containment of the emergency, including the commercialization of the mineral, in order to satisfy the requirements of internal and external demand, as well as to guarantee the provision of public services.

c. The safety and hygiene in development of mining activities.

3. The considerations of numeral 33 include the transfer and transportation of personnel, supplies and equipment. Likewise, it includes the import of inputs, raw materials, infrastructure, spare parts and other elements that are essential to maintain the continuous operation of the infrastructure associated with a mining project that cannot be shut down or stopped, or that, being able to do so, damages or affects the normal continuity of the mining operation. Infrastructure outside the mining project area and necessary for its development is considered included.

The personnel that is related to the activities described above, must carry the respective identification that validates that the transfer refers to the development of one of the aforementioned activities. Taking into account the above, it is considered necessary to allow the mobilization of personnel who are not strictly necessary for the development of the activities described in the circular, in order for them to return to their places of residence, in order to comply with the mandatory preventive isolation.

The considerations established in the circular refer only to the aforementioned activities and the personnel strictly necessary to carry them out. Additionally, these activities must strictly comply with the sanitary, hygiene, preventive and risk mitigation measures issued by the national government and by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection.


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