Ahead of the completion of a free-trade agreement between the two countries, expected in the next few days, financial newspaper Portafolio reported Thursday that Canadian oil and mining companies have established a sturdy foothold in Colombia.
While overall levels of investment makes Canada a minor source of foreign investment, recent investment stories are being cited as encouraging signs of a growing trade partnership. Pacific Rubiales Energy for example, listed in both Toronto and Bogota, is looking to boost its mid-term oil production to 500,000 barrels per day with the acquisition this week of a 32.88% share in pipeline company Oleoducto Bicentenario de Colombia. The company is currently running exploration and production in the Llanos plains east of Bogota.
Four major Canadian firms are also getting in on Colombia’s gold mining boom. Greystar Resources is currently waiting to be granted a license to extract gold and silver in Santander, northern Colombia, with 8.9 million ounces of gold and 59.6 million ounces of silver said to be laying in wait. Toronto-based Modoro resources are also looking to strike gold in a big way in Colombia with a plan to mine known deposits (of 7.5 million ounces) in the Caldas department.
Gran Colombia Gold are a Canadian firm that have taken an established place in the market by recently completing a 200 million takeover of Frontino Gold Mines. Vancouver firm Ventana Gold received a pleasant surprise last week when they were able to revise upwards their expected production at their mine (also in Santander) to 347,000 ounces of gold per year once extraction starts in the second quarter of next year. Brazilian industrial conglomerate EBX pounced on this news to make an offer to Ventana’s shareholders.
Canada is set to become the first country in the G8 with which Colombia has a free trade agreement. The deal was signed as far back as 2008 but required the approval of the Canadian parliament. Along with the direct benefits of greater expected investment into Colombia and an increase of exports to Canada, politicians in Bogota are hopeful that the agreement will help convince the United States to approve its own free trade agreement with Colombia.