The Colombian mining industry has grown at a fast pace during the past decade, mostly due to government policies which have favoured foreign investment and promoted investment specifically in the mining sector, in addition to higher governmental control of public order and military reinforcement of areas that had long been in control of rebel or paramilitary groups.
Colombia is an important player in the world mining industry as a producer of high quality minerals. Colombia is the largest producer of nickel in South America, the largest producer of coal in Latin America, the second largest producer of emeralds in the world, and it has significant reserves of gold. The country has a high mining potential, with a relatively unexplored territory which is ideal to begin prospective projects.
The participation of mining in the Colombian GDP was 2 per cent in 2013. The value of mining exports in the third quarter of 2013 was of US$ 2,458.22 FOB.
The above being said, foreign direct investment in the mining sector in Colombia has increased significantly over the past decade. In 2013, foreign direct investment in the oil and mining industry in Colombia exceeded US$ 13.7 million.
Colombia is well-endowed with minerals and energy resources. It has the largest coal reserves in Latin America, and is second to Brazil in hydroelectricpotential. Estimates of petroleum reserves in 1995 were 3.1 billion barrels (490,000,000 m3). Colombia also possesses significant amounts ofnickel and gold. Other important metals included platinum and silver, which were extracted in much smaller quantities. Colombia also produces copper, small amounts of iron ore, and bauxite. Nonmetallic mined minerals include salt, limestone, sulfur, gypsum, dolomite, barite,feldspar, clay, magnetite, mica, talcum, and marble. Colombia also produces most of the world's emeralds. Despite the variety of minerals available for exploitation, Colombia still had to import substances such as iron, copper, and aluminum to meet its industrial needs.
Minerals—in particular coal, oil, and natural gas, but also emeralds, gold, and nickel—have played an important role in Colombia's GDP and foreign trade in the last 20 years. Accounting for only 1.4 percent of GDP and 13 percent of total exports be tween 1980 and 1984, minerals represented about 5 percent of GDP and 42 percent of total exports in 2006. The minerals industry has compensated to a certain extent for the decreasing role of agriculture and has expanded the importance of commodities for the economy as a whole. Colombia is the world's leading source of emeralds, and illegal mining is commonplace. However, production of precious minerals is small scale despite high international prices for minerals such as gold.
Mining of kaolinite and hematite for pottery pigments started in what is today Colombia since the mid-late neolithic, with archaeological evidence of ceramic production and sedentary groups living in El Abra settlements and the Colombian Caribbean coast (near the towns of San Jacinto, Monsú, Puerto Chacho, and Puerto Hormiga archaeological site) beginning around the year 5940 BCE around the town of San Jacinto. This would place these pottery shards among the oldest ever recovered anywhere.
The earliest examples of gold mining and goldwork have been attributed to the Tumaco people of the Pacific coast and date to around 325 BCE. Gold would play a pivotal role in luring the Spanish conquistadores to the area during the 16th century.
Gold was considered sacred by most of the precolumbian civilizations of the area. In Muisca mythology, Gold (Chiminigagua) was considered itself a deity, and the force of creation. Copper mining was very important for the classic Quimbaya civilization, which developed the tumbagaalloy.
Although significant in the colonial economy, it never commanded a large portion of Colombia's GDP in modern times. With the discovery and exploitation of large coal reserves, however, the role of mining in the national economy expanded in the late 1980s.
Historically the valley of the reeds Santa Barbara "today" the Municipality of Rio Negro was discovered by Antonio Lebrija in one of his voyages up the river that bears his name, when out of curiosity decided to find the source of a spring showing waters dark but highly transparent;that was how he found covered with extensive cane fields and inhabited by some of the tribes Guanes valley.
Rionegro Many years later went on to become major producer of snuff, sugarcane, cocoa and coffee obtaining the agricultural product of the latter title Coffee capital of Santander.
The Municipality of Rio Negro, is strategically located on the left side of the road leading from the capital Santander to Costa.
It's tourist epicenter for its proximity to Bucaramanga, rich in fauna and flora, has water sources; rivers and streams that are conducive to recreation, ecotourism, adventure sports and preparation familair typical stew that make the holidays and weekends by dozens of families moving through the inter-facility transport.
Rionegro also has a very pleasant climate, beautiful women, superb hospitality of the people living in the municipal seat makes pleasant the stay of tourists visiting the town.
Mineral Resources: Coal, iron, ore, nickel, gold, copper, emeralds
Colombia is a major producer and the world's largest exporter of emeralds
Colombia is Latin America's only producer of platinum