Colombia is one of the world’s longest-standing mining jurisdictions, but outdated government systems created barriers for Colombians to receive benefits from the sector. One of these systems was the Colombian Mining Cadaster with inaccurate information, data processing errors and no interaction with other government departments – making transparent and evidence-based decisions in mining near impossible.

As part of the Comunica Project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, Alinea collaborated with Colombia’s National Mining Agency to develop and deliver AnnA Mineria – an online integral mining management platform to improve the lives of Colombians through transparent and responsible management of the country’s natural resources. “Comunica” is the Building Extractive Sector Governance in Colombia Project.

Digital transformation

Implemented in September 2020, AnnA Mineria is entering its first full year in operation. This e-government system digitizes all processes involved in granting mining titles. Industry users apply for and manage mining concessions, make royalty payments and view mining inspection reports. Government users view industry documents, make requests, grant mining concessions, collect royalties, steward environmentally sensitive areas and upload reports. Everything is standardized – reducing processing times by up to 80 per cent.  

Users can also perform online queries and view active titles, areas available and prohibited for mining, as well as environmentally protected areas. The system supports the collection and use of gender disaggregated data, which allows the Government of Colombia to identify the demographics of users so mining can actively reduce gender inequality in Colombia – aligned with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.

“AnnA Mineria is a tool that transforms the relationship between the state and the public in information sharing and environmental mining management, which allows greater transparency,” said Iván Duque, President of Colombia.

New investment

In AnnA Mineria’s first three months of operation, more than 16,600 users registered and the system received 8,000 applications for mining concessions. This translates into $250M CAD of new investment committed by the private sector to new mining projects in Colombia.

In December 2020, AnnA Mineria received a #LatamDigital Award as one of the best digital transformation projects in the category of best government support for digital SMEs.

International cooperation

“With cutting-edge technology, we are digitizing decision-making and environmental management of mining to make this sector work for all Colombians,” said Shantel Jordison, Comunica Project Director.

AnnA Minería represents a digital transformation in the Colombian mining sector and an e-government milestone in Latin America – the result of international cooperation between the Government of Canada and Government of Colombia. Alinea worked closely with the Colombian National Mining Agency and Ministry of Mines, as well as Pacific Geotech Systems, a Victoria-based software company, to build AnnA Minería and provide technical assistance and capacity development to ensure long-term sustainability of the system and benefits to Colombians for decades to come.