Ministry of Mines and Energy. ANM. Bogota D.C. May 23rd, 2018. The Ministry of Mines and Energy, together with the National Mining Agency, revealed the official mineral production figures for the first quarter of 2018. Nickel has once again become the star of mining production figures nationwide, whereas coal and gold have fallen.
According to production figures, nickel grew by 9% during all of 2017. This same trend has been observed during the first quarter of 2018, as national nickel production has reached 23.5 million pounds, 5.1% more than in the last quarter of the previous year.
"We have successfully faced many factors that had affected the nickel industry, among them the fall in the international price. With the gradual price recovery, plus the start of production in new deposits nationwide, nickel has once again become the star of the mining industry. In addition, the value of exports has increased due to favorable market conditions in terms of pricing. The average price for 2018 has been the highest in the last three years, when measured on a quarterly basis," said the Minister of Mines and Energy, German Arce Zapata.
Coal did not see liftoff during the first quarter of 2018, in spite of the good pricing experienced by the industry at this time. It was largely slowed down due to the rain and winter season in most of the producing areas nationwide, which has stopped operations or delayed them. Overall, a total of 19.6 million tons of coal were produced in the country, which is a 10.9% decrease compared to the last quarter of 2017.
Gold continues to decrease due to strict measures established by the National Government in order to control the productive chain of this precious metal, preventing its illegal extraction and commercialization. During the first three months of 2018, gold production has reached 7.11 tons, which is 16% less than the figure for the last quarter of the previous year.
"Mechanisms such as the Single Registry for Mineral Commercialization (RUCOM), the resolution on the economic capacity of sellers, the imposition of quotas for subsistence mining, among other measures, show the willingness of the Government to stop the use of gold as an engine for illegal activities. We have decided to promote the path to formalization and continue taking our miners towards good practices that guarantee transparency and legality throughout the gold chain," said Silvana Habib Daza, the president of the National Mining Agency.
Regarding these control measures, the ANM has determined that the reported production from gold-panning has decreased by 59%, corresponding to a type of mining within the gold chain that faces the risk of being used as part of illegal activities.