Colombia mining exports forecast to hit all-time high in 2022

Prodeco Coal, Colombia. Image courtesy of Glencore via Flickr.

Exports by Colombia’s mining sector in 2022 are expected to hit an all-time high, the Colombian Mining Association (ACM) said on Wednesday, driven by higher commodity prices, particularly coal.

While the ACM expects Colombia’s coal output to hit 65.3 million tonnes this year, up around 10% on 2021 but below the 80.3 million tonnes reported in 2019, higher prices have boosted the mining sector’s export value, the organization said.

“This year the Colombian mining sector is going to have record exports in terms of value,” ACM President Juan Camilo Narino told journalists, adding the forecast export-value for the sector in 2022, including gold and other minerals, was $22.16 billion.

Average export value of the mining sector from the previous five or six years has been “around $12 billion” Narino said, adding that such an increase had never been seen before in the country.

Royalties from mining operations are expected to hit 4.84 trillion pesos ($1.01 billion) this year, Narino added, saying the figure was more than double that seen in either of the last two years.

The country’s gold production in 2022 is forecast at 1.56 million troy ounces, the ACM said, of which just 625,000 troy ounces are produced by mining companies.

The lion’s share of Colombia’s gold output comes from informal miners.

Earlier this week, government entities including the Ministry of Mines and Energy signed an agreement to establish a new national mining company to buy gold from small-scale miners in a bid to make the industry safer and greener.

The sector will have to wait and see what type of gold the state mining company will buy, as well as what process it employees to formalize small scale miners, Narino said.

“I think there is a possible potential there but … we’ll have to see how it materializes,” he said.

($1 = 4,791.57 Colombian pesos)

(By Oliver Griffin; Editing by Alistair Bell)


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