80% of Colombia’s gold production either informal or illegal: mining association

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.

Tracing Colombia’s gold from savage jungles to Swiss watches

“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.

US news network Bloomberg reported last month that gold had overtaken cocaine as the main revenue source of illegal armed groups like the AGC and the ELN.

Additionally, a lot of small and medium-sized mining operations never formalized, much to the dislike of the government and the multinational miners.

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