The Business Year

Whether it is coal, gold, or emeralds, Colombia's mining industry is ripe with potential and investors are looking up to the government for across-the-board regulations.

Otto B. Giraldo Salazar

Executive Manager, Coquecol

We have been operating in Colombia for 25 years, and in the last 10 years, we have been a member of the Gerdau Group. We have a long-term contract with Gerdau to provide coal, including the delivery of over 7 million tons of coal. Being the largest operator in any market is difficult; however, we have worked to solidify our reputation and people respect that. Safety is the number-one concern of all operators in the mining industry, and we are dedicated to ensuring that this remains true. We have nearly 1,000 small mines around the country, and we have to work closely with them to develop the best practices. Our 2017 figures are extremely strong; we sold 700,000 tons of metallurgic coal to Gerdau, and in 2018, we hope to sell 500,000 tons of met coke. Our total sales figures for 2018 are expected to surpass USD150 million, which are fairly impressive for a local company.

Charles C. Burgess

Director, Mineria Texas Colombia (MTC)

MTC, our project, and the Muzo companies, which include our international sales arm and marketing, have fundamentally changed the Colombian emerald industry. We are proud to be part of a modern, forward-thinking industry that is in line with the law, protects the environment, and works with the local communities. We have significant plans as we have many areas in our titles to develop. The market for top-quality emeralds remains strong; our main goal is to improve the quality and quantity of the emeralds. In order to form strong relationships with the community, we employ almost 90% of our workers from the Muzo or Quipama municipalities, where our mine is located. Overall, 2017 was unquestionably our best year ever. Our production levels increased tremendously, and many of our projects to modernize the mine came to fruition. For 2018, we will try to modernize and bring online production for an unexploited area.

Ricardo Pachón Mantilla

General Manager, Ricardo Pachón Mantilla

Sandvik is an industrial group with more than 155 years. We made our main investment seven years ago with a head office in Bogotá and are currently constructing a primary service and logistics center in Medellí­n. The strategy is to be geographically close to our major customers in Antioquia Province. Initially, we only had two or three machines as compared to 112 machines at present, mainly working in the underground mining segment. We are also involved in tunnel construction operations for the 4G highways. We put a great deal of focus into new technologies. Around 2,700 employees work in our 60 global research and development centers, where approximately USD380 million are invested each year. 2017 was our best year thus far; we closed a large deal with a huge customer while increasing our fleet with 31 machines. We want to increase our sales by 25% and expect to have 11% YoY growth in 2018.

Hans Kulp

General Manager, HK Trading Mining Services

HK Trading is a mining service company. Our latest promising development is the non-detonating technology for fragmentation. In our current position we have just regular industrial explosives, though not every operation has access to it. In regard to infrastructure projects, this will push forward the government’s initiative to make 4G a priority; Colombia’s road system is 30 years behind, and the high costs of transporting kills a great deal of business. We are working on concessions and trying to establish a partnership to develop services to support them with construction, especially in Antioquia, Boyacá, and Cundinamarca. We help save time and money while minimizing the environmental impact by using our rock fragmentation technology. The industry is witnessing a resurgence and will reach 90-95 million tons in two to three years. However, moving forward, our idea is to grow in infrastructure because it is an immediate need for the country.



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