Ministry of Mines and Energy - ANM. Bogota D.C. August 17th, 2017. The Ministry of Mines and Energy and the National Mining Agency (ANM), have presented official mineral production figures for the second quarter of 2017. Coal saw a 4% decrease when compared to the first quarter, going from 22.4 million tons to 21.4 million during the current quarter.
Coal production decreases concerned projects in Cesar and Guajira, with a respective reduction of 4% and 10%, while coal from the center of the nation went from a production of 1.2 million tons during the first quarter to 1.5 in the previously mentioned period, which was a 27% increase. Significant recoveries in the coal sector were seen in the departments of Boyaca, reaching 583,000 tons, and Cundinamarca, which rose by 40% to achieve a production of 539,000 tons.
Regarding coal figures for this period, the Minister of Mines and Energy, German Arce, stated that "although the large-scale projects in Cesar and Guajira saw lower production, the 2017 forecast remains stable, because Boyaca and Cundinamarca have recovered and prices keep increasing. Companies and the sector as a whole remain optimistic in light of our second quarter perspectives."
However, construction material figures have risen by 2.7 million cubic meters during the first quarter of the year, reaching 4.9 million cubic meters in the second period, which equals a 78% production increase. Compared to the same period of 2016, this significant increase involves over 1 million cubic meters.
"The construction materials sector has made important efforts to fight illegality and evasion. We see the results and remain certain that the good practices and controls implemented thanks to the institutional framework have also contributed to the recovery of this important segment of proper mining activities," said Habib Daza, the President of the National Mining Agency.
Good news also involved nickel during a period of low prices, as it reached 21.4 million pounds in the second quarter, 8% more than in the first quarter of 2017, and 2% when compared to the same period from the year 2016.
After gold suffered a 26% decrease at the start of the year, it stabilized during this quarter within the range of 390,000 troy ounces, mainly as a result of new regulations applied by the National Government in order to control the commercialization of gold from illegal activities.