Illegal armed groups and informal miners extract approximately 80% of the gold on the market in Colombia, according to the Colombian Mining Association (ACM).
ACM chairman Santiago Angel told newspaper El Espectador that approximately 2 million ounces of gold per year are extracted outside the formal sector.
Legal gold mining companies extracted approximately 260,000 ounces in 2016, said Urdinola.
“The [reported] national gold production does not reveal the reality of the sector considering the high level of informality in the extraction of this mineral, which exceeds 80%,” El Espectador quoted the gold executive as saying.
Additionally, a lot of small and medium-sized mining operations never formalized, much to the dislike of the government and the multinational miners.