The Business Year

Colombia's mineral potential is impressive, with some of the largest reserves of base and precious metals, giving mining companies ample opportunities to develop successful projects.

Dale Craig

VP Operations, B2Gold

B2Gold is a relatively new company, having been founded in 2007 by the former management of Bema Gold. The management group has worked together for decades, which provides a strong foundation for company direction. B2Gold saw dramatic growth and an excellent sequence of production record-breaking years starting with the first acquisition in 2009 to now producing over 1 million ounces per year. Furthermore, there is a low operating cost of USD423 per ounce and an all-in sustaining cost of USD788. B2Gold is among industry-leading in terms of cost. We also deliver a significant dividend, which enlarges the audience and interest in our shares to the generalist investors. Our growth has been delivered through brownfield and greenfield exploration, acquisition, mine building, all activities which we do in-company, and optimization of existing operations, including plant expansion. We have three operating mines: Fekola, which will produce around 550,000 ounces this year; Masbati, which will produce between 200,000 and 210,000 ounces; and Otjikoto, which will produce between 190,000 and 200,000 ounces. We also have an equity position in the Calibre operations in Nicaragua. In addition, we have Gramalote in Colombia. We are not new to Colombia and were involved as operators of this project in 2008, when the operatorship of the project was taken over by our current partner AngloGold Ashanti.

Charles Burgess

President, The Muzo Companies Colombia

We were the first foreign company in modern times to take over a major gemstone mine. We had to completely overhaul the mining project there, from labor practices to the relationship with the government. Our mines and production are handled by our own laboratory and sold by our own international sales organization. It involved a completely new relationship with the local community, and all these things had to come together. We made a decision from the first day that the old artisanal and informal way of doing business had to change, because the world and consumers’ needs were changing. Our customers simply will not accept the idea of buying a product that was produced under illegal or inadequate labor conditions. Customers can trace every one of the stones that we sell all the way back to where they were mined. We also have the finest emerald cutting lab in the world in the Bogotá free trade zone. It is an amazing facility with state-of-the-art technology, and our emerald cutting is generally recognized as the best in the world. The cutting has to be perfect to provide true value, and our cutting is as close to perfect as you can get. We work with many of the large brands to provide them with their needs.

José Miguel Linares

President, José Miguel Linares

The resilience of the company can be attributed to our experience and understanding of the coal industry. This company was founded in 1935 as a coal company; this is what we are, and this is what the Drummond family is. We have dedicated our lives, and the Drummond company has dedicated its life mainly to the coal industry. We have always been a cost-efficient company, always looking at the situation and trying to predict trends, and what the future may hold in store for us. Another important player in all this has to be the government. That is why we have always tried to develop the best possible relations with the government, not only at the national level but also at the local level. Having the government—national, municipal, and departmental—as an ally is fundamental, especially in a country like Colombia where companies need to work together with the government and communities to be viable as a coal producer. Corporate social responsibility is extremely important to us because it helps us establish close relationships with communities. We focus on our four pillars—peace and human rights, integral development, governance for development, and environmental performance—and even during the pandemic, we sought to ensure our social responsibility programs are still in play and being applied.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

You may also be interested in...

View All interviews