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December 14, 2016
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April 24, 2001
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July 29, 1954
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Con.fidPYti.al_ CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY INFORMATION REPORT COUNTRY Colombia mining opportunities 25X1A PLACE ACQUIRED (BY SOURCE) DATE ACQUIRED (BY SOURCE) DATE (OF INFO.) Approved For Release 2002/01/03 : CIA-RDP80-00926AO07300020001-0 U.S. Officials Only HIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS INFORMATION AFFECTING THE NATIONAL DEFENSE OF THE UNITED STATES, WITHIN THE MEANING OF TITLE IS, SECTIONS 701 AND 7S4, OF 'THE U.S. CODE. AS AMENDED. ITS TRANSMISSION OR REVE- LATION OF ITS CONTENTS TO OR RECEIPT BY AN UNAUTHORIUED PERSON IS 11PROOLICTION Or THIS REPORT 12 "Oh" THIS IS UNEVALUATED INFORMATION DATE DISTR. ,.9Juiy54 NO. OF PAGES 4 NO. OF ENCLS. SUPP. TO REPORT NO. l.. Colombia appears to be prosperous and bard at work, following the 1195./ coup whereby the army took over the government from the minority Conservative Party. The' all-important coffee industry seemed to be thriving, with favorable prices for the coffee produced. New factories are being built in the principal cities. New hydroelectric power plants are being completed. The petroleum industry appears to be growing. Gold mining and gold prospecting have been stimulated as described below. 25X1X 2. Three important changes, with regard to mining, have taken place These changes are: 25X1X (a) Constantly recurring fighting between forces of the Liberal and arr n e lor-stimn t t i l d regions; to be explored. but,, the work could not be done at that time because of serious fighting in the sr c y cu iff Conservative Parties, heal. made it work. All of this fighting, has now been stopped, by a general amnesty to the Liberal forces. I was told that it is now possible to travel Safely anywhere in Colombia. (b) A recent decree has freed the export of gold. Miners are now receiving 'about $1t5 per ounce for gold produced. (c) A newring.c. is now being written, designed to replace the anti . d. n ntf laws which )*ve held back Colombian mining for many yea" The following repbrt covers general background'data on Colombia, with regard to possible future mining operations. I have also described very briefly the former work done by ( 7 in that country,;and have indicated where, in my opinions future exploration work could.bey ,,fed out to advantage. Many of the areas mentioned had been lined up for s when we left Colombia in 1951; U.S. Officials 'bnlI f;nnf i_dent1il... - This report Is for the use within the VBA of the InteUipnce components of the Departmento or Agencies indicated above. It is not to be transmitted Qerseas without the concurrence of the originating office through the Assistant Director of the Office of Collection and Dissemination, CIA. Approved For Release 2002/01/03 : CIA-RDP80-00926AO07300020001-0 STATE ARMY NAVY V AIR FBI El 4. burden of sail and vegetation makes exploration difficult in any case. Govern- ment policies seem to favdr mining of all kinds. The economy of the country is based on agriculture, rather than mining; so that it is unlikely that a large min,i4g_operation would be treated as in Chile or Bolivia. Approved For ReWMARMYt 3Q- Z AO073 2 consider Colombia to be a favorable country for mining exploration. Much of the country has not been well looked over, and a heavy over- Minim petroleum 5. Foreign investment in the above, at the end of 1950, was as follows: Petroleum $219,037,784.81 v.s. Precious metals (mainly dredging 35,x+43, 795.37 Other mining 2,958,639-93 Total 257, 0,220.11 The above figures give a good idea of the present relative importance of these industries The locations of the more important operations are shown on Plate II, attached. 6. The Colombian petroleum laws have been modernized, and are now reasonably favorable to foreign investment. Standard of N.J., Shell, Texas Corp., SoeonyVacuum., Richmond, and other oil companies are operating in the country. The metal mining laws are still antiquated, being based on the old Antio- ciuian aaiing code of 1887. Claims covering precious metals and copper, are deAduneed as in other countries; except tlat placer claims within 100 meters of a !'navigable" stream met be secured by special government concession, All ether" tats, such as . lead1 zinc, molybdenum etc. belong to the owner of the surface, unless reserve4. government. The last statement also applies to non-metals. A p ins ion has recently been named to formulate a new mining code, and present. it for consideration of the government at the end of 1953 If 's favorable mining code is adopted, the mining industry in Colombia should be greatly benefited. 8. TTecious .etol.s. Colombia has long been famous as a gold producer.. It has 'been estimated that historic gold production is about one billion doll 'rd, at present price. In 1951, -the production ryas 430,723 ounces of gold, of which 76% was produced bar placer dredging and 23% by lode mining. 9. Recently, the selling of gold produced within Colombia, has been freed from all restrictions,. in an eff'ort' to stimulate the industry. j~t the same time, a .,l1 premium paid on gold production was discontinued. Average sales of Colombian gold, since this measure went into effect, have been at approximately 5 per ounce of golds 10. The lamest gold dredging operation is at Patol on the Nechi Rivera r h of Medell , in Antioquia a Two' sidii lice of Placers beverlopment Corp, :hate, 6 to 8 modern dredges in opei ?tOn o The same interests operate the _Azuazu placers on the Cat ver above Cali, now ,.~ g~ely rked. out . These three properties noweating.?a~bout 2, 0, to fieof gravel per month, and are recovering $0.315 per. cubic- yard treated,, at 'f45 per ounce of gold. The second urge dredging a p.era Son, U tit of South America Gold end tinum Corp, in t1 , Chocv- , south of the town of Quibdo, on the an Juan-River, on the cific slop's This company also operates near Barbacoas, on the Telembi River, in the Department of. Marino . Four to five dredges. produce an important. amount . of gold, and practically the entire platinum production (.32,000 oz.' in 1951) of Colombia. 12. The third. largest gold producer is the From~i Gold Mines Ltd., a.British o red coaraoration operating lode mines and a , cyanide plant inntioqu3., in the mountains south and above the into operation. The 500 ton per day mill treati ore of about 1/2 oz per ton grade. 13. Hundreds of smaller lode and placer operations account for the remainder of the gold production. Silver production is mainly a4by-product of the gold lode mine operations; and amounted to 130,028 oih4o in 1951. CC NFIDENTIti./t OFFICIALS ONLY Approved For Release 2002/01/03 : CIA-RDP80-00926AO07300020001-0 Approved For Rel c~x$~I 0073000200031A !.- 3- >siumerous occurrences. of copper, lead, zinc, mollrbdenum and iron have been long e Metals.. Colombia has never- hsad a la-rge base metal production, although known. The limited size6,known deposits, high ' freight rates to the coast, anti.. difficulties of prospecting in rough mountainous areas covered by soil and yegetativh, seem mainly responsible for this lack of base metal mining. Still another reason, is the fact that in Colonial I.times$ the Spaniards were interested 25X1X only in precious metals. The old Spaniard were good prospectors. 15. At present_ , iron deposits in Boyaes:are being prepared to supply the new Paz del Rio steel industry. A single zinc deposit in Cundinamarca is operated by Callahan Zinc-Lead Co. of San Francisco (600 tons of zinc ore ,WO#, Lead, copper,, antimony, 'ms lybdenum and other ores have been s4 produced.. on ,e small scale in the past, when prices were especially high. 16. Won-Metals.. Coal mining is an important local industry in Colombia. Coal is widespread. Mines are operated both by government and by private. industry. Salt is a government monopoly. Deposits and springs are scattered all over the country. The Zipaquira deposit is especially large and well known. 'Sulphur is produced at a small flotation plant at the volcano of Purace, near popay~n; where 2,, 500 tons of ruined sulphur were, produced in 1951. Johns-Manville is prospecting for asbestos in Antioquia. The emerald production, mainly from government-owned mines, was.68,000 carats in 1951,? The cement industry is of great importance in Colombia. .Possibiiit lox. for,Future, Exploration 17. Theoonly, large metal dgppsits so far discovered and worked, in Colo bie have been the gOld end gold-platinum river placer deposits, worked by dredging. These have been described above. ' recious Metals,'. :.rc 18. C 7 pfLicipal exploration . effort in Colombia, was drilling the lower Cauca River valley. placers for gold. V luee proved to?be too low for aprofitable large=:scale, dredging operation, so the options were dropped. While this placer examination was. going.. on, James Harding conducted examination work on prospects that were brought in to him. Alter the placer examination was. concluded, the writer continued general exploration 0.9 a small scale. All of this work was re- ported on to the h'ew York Office:, at. the time. The latter part of the work became more and more hampered by fighting between Liberal Party guerrillas and Conserva- tive government forces. Finally, conditions became so bad that operations were shifted to Peru, leaving much exploration work in Colombia for some future oppor- tunity. It may be of interest to outline some of the work that w?aa then planned, in case .exploration work in Colombia should be resumed at some future time. re. p the most favorable place in 19. Precious Metal P ce ~_ th f rom Coia to look for large placer;, is the Pacific coastal area sou Buenaventura, and extending into northern ECuadsr. Most of the rivers in this area, such as the l ichicaya, Raposo, pa,3ammbre, Yurumangui, NA Y&,, Micay, Sai ja, d man ri b y ng, an ea Tinbiqui, Guapi, Iscuade, aPsti'a. and 'Mira, . a a known to be gold contain platinum as well. large nuggets of gold and platinum brought. in from the head :'hers of sole these stream by the Negro settlers. South American Gold and Platinum Corp.. ,hat '1E Operated gold drec.~,e for years on a branri of the Pate River; and Vere starting to prospect the Teleiebi River , 25X1X the Micay River Titles to some of the River placers are complicated by old .Spa i rants, ?- . y tiple ownership. It would be a long legal - ;eb to stra4ghten thes out, vtreverall of these rivers ' hate the great advantage of being readily aacee ible from the Pacific. 20. Another section that is difficult of accts* of placer ground, lies across the Andes to reaches of the Guames,;Jrcusigua and Cie bilities worthy of investigation. but may well contain large '8reas e east, from the above. The upper pl. Pe cious :Mentaltinesss. No really large gold mines have yet been found in Colombia.. It seems likely the large geld,] cers were formed by erosion and recon centre Lion of : very. numero ~ i l a s i to >` Antioquia has many hundreds of such deposits that have been proapftct car 'works. Possibilities for finding CONFIDENTIAL/US OFFICIALS ONLY Approved For Release 2002/01/03 : CIA-RDP80-00926AO07300020001-0 Approved For Release 2002/01/03 ? CIA-RDP$0-00926AO07300020001-0 O W t A'F'FTCI ALT lame gold: mines :,are.>not ,so ,. -since4. the 'penis 'rds c vexed the country .Pretty . ll in that retoCrj .,., However, `there .i'C still ao- chance: for large 1,?w , grade` depoai*t tan ?be' dd erect in Aatioquia, Caldas', Oeuea or .riao;' since soil: auad , veg tatiCrn - make prospecting Jiff icult,' and.. the pa . iards here' not interes,te4. in! Ver low grade deposits 22. 1i11pl eat nsmn: or d. epcasts Mve 4'ver bee'n ibwnd in ?aelombia; twat the source of the platinum in the placers is still unknown. A careful geological search fop, basic ,intr signs ins, the: . tid al to southern' mieoti Bans of the Weotern,Range 41:eng. the, wos M 81d j04; followed by study, of 'the imtrusives and -contacts; migh ~ st use deposits, 23? ,3ase'Meta t CoppOr-isvery wider ead in 614lenbia, but mown deposits. are small '.at usually low grade. However, the Tolima area . seems to the writer VoY,. 9f a careful ' further study of cdgperr p rspects So far, as I knout,`- the goats Marta u pli hear never been wall prospected, seems. interesting . from a .6eelogi0a1 ?standpoiat,.. and should be worthy of pros sting for eopper` and other base. rptslg.. 21I Lead an ~sinc are not so widespread. Future .prospects for these metals in dolo*ia . on. *.large -sea. lo not appear, proajsfug b ' -However, the Santander- 9aldam aereew, And the eiaUrA;Ramge in 'C=dina arcs and Boyeci., seem to present the beet.. po sibilitiel. 25. Molybdenum possibilities are more interesting. The frequent acidic intrusive areas of the Central Range present good areas for study. In Tolima, kadwa pxm ehtis .? 1e i"eU, rare so numerous t 'the area. has been described' hi e, '] - enumn ta1lo8en3e,ar province. 26. As mentioned previously, prgepecting and exploration in Colombia are difficult, due to the heavy; aisantle of soil and vegetation over most of the mountain area, ,no scatter, how, steep and broken. A major dr& nk : to mining operation in many parts of ~ the,. coun t' is - difficult and asive tie lion toy-shu t . Rowever, this it b g. ia~;-ra d by road construction and by iaproveaentss in, the Magdalena . Veat*,yii . ge e , new rpilraaade are ' also under consideration. Steadily inereaeing air, transport is.. ale. helping out,, 27. Colombia i s, accustomed to securimg mieet of .ts f+oreign exchange needs' from coffee, be,riana.'and petroleum exports; . The country, should never be dependent uap. n'a 25X1 X metal export for these. needs, as are ,Chile and Bolivia 28. Colombia ranks, wttb.Perin, and to some extent Veneezuela, as the most favorable South American countries for mineral exploration. A new favorable Col.Ombian *ining code, ii aadopted, would improve Colombia: a ,position still further. Map . . 'Available from the-CIA/Library wing: ..jtostat ' of . maT of Colombia ?l_ to I t T catiein < jai g and "etroieuda Exploitation. Map call number. .8$$ b :? To borrow call emcee .113 ext. 2596:x" ? 735.59+ 7E 4-5/731..1 7E 1-12/733.1 E. 1-12/731.31 7E 622.021 7E COWFI. / ' :. o IC #1..S ONLY Approved For Release 2002/01/03 : CIA-RDP80-00926AO07300020001-0