The world had never heard of platinum, until the element was discovered in Choco, western Colombia during the 17th century. At the time, Colombia was the main source of precious metals for the Spanish empire. Today the nation remains a significant producer of platinum and gold. Colombia is one of only two major sources of primary platinum production in the world outside of South Africa, Russia and Zimbabwe.
Colombia’s platinum production from small-scale operations in Choco Department totaled 28,359 ounces in the fiscal year 2011; gold production in Choco totaled over 653,625 ounces (www.upme.gov.co).
Colombia was ranked the 7th best destination for mining investment in the world in 2012, by international consultants Behre Dolbear. It ranked 4th best in Latin America, two spots ahead of Peru. Foreign investment in the Colombian mining and petroleum sectors totaled $12.23 billion in 2011, and more than $13 billion in 2012.
The nation has a total area of approximately 1,138,910 square kilometers, with an estimated population of around 47 million. Colombia is bordered by Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador and Panama. It has coastline along both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.
Noble Metal’s operations are located in the Pacific coastal lowlands of western Colombia. This under-explored area is distinct from the Andean highlands and the eastern Colombian plains, where many of the country’s major mines are located.
In recent years, Colombia has managed to sustain economic growth, and during 2011, the Colombian economy grew 5.9%. According to the National Planning Department, poverty has been reduced from 56% in 2002 to 45% in 2006 and extreme poverty went down from 22% to 12% during the same period.
Colombia is currently led by Juan Manuel Santos who was elected President on August 7, 2010. Presidential election terms in Colombia are 4 years.