Colombia is emerging as a major gold producer as the national Institute of Geology and Mining announces that the country’s gold production will double in the next two years, reports Portafolio.
Colombia produced 1.57 million troy ounces last year, according to mining association Asomineros.
Platinum extraction is on the increase too. Last year 1.57 million ounces of platinum were extracted, three times the amount mined in 2006. This is expected to increase to 3 million ounces in 2012.
The four major projects driving up production are located in La Colosa, Tolima, operated by AngloGold Ashanti; Zaragoza, Antioquia, run by Mineros SA; Marmato,Caldas, run by Medoro resources, and California, Santander, run by Greystar resources.
Despite new regulations limiting its exploitation, Greystar Resources’ Angostura mine is estimated to contain 11.5 million ounces of gold.
AnngloGold Ashanti, the world’s third largest gold producer, has said that it would be willing to invest between $2 billion and $3 billion in building a new Colombian mine if feasibility studies show the project to be viable. AngloGold expects to invest $250 million in exploration at La Colosa in the 2010-2012 period.
Another major recent development is the $200m purchase of the Frontino goldmine by Medoro resources. Less than a month ago they announced plans to invest an additional $30m – $40m in the mine.
More projects are being planned. At a mining forum in Bogota, the director of Ingeominas, Mario Ballesteros, explained that mining companies are exploring 1.69m hectares and that there are more than 7,700 titles are in the process of being approved.
The increasing price of gold is a major factor in the new boom. An ounce of gold cost $1,202.20 Friday, up 31.7% in the last year.