About Colombia

Colombia is located in northern South America, bordering the Caribbean Sea, between Panama and Venezuela, and bordering Ecuador, Peru and Brazil to the south. Colombia is the world’s 30th most populous country with a population of over 45 million people. In 2007, the Colombian economy experienced real GDP growth of 7.3% and its national economy was the 5th largest in Latin America and 34th largest in the world with a GDP (PPP) of over US$327.7 Billion. The GDP composition by sector is: 11.5% agriculture; 36% industry; and 52.5% services.

The republic country has dramatically stabilized over the last few years and has experienced a large decline in the violence that has plagued it for a large part of the 20th century. Inflows of foreign investment have been increasing rapidly for the last 5 years as the government has maintained a secure and conducive business environment to encourage foreign investment, especially in the mining sector, which is the largest component and has experienced the largest growth.


Colombia is a country rich in natural resources. It is presently the 5th largest coal exporting country, accounting for about 1.1% of the world’s total annual coal production, and the largest producer in Latin America (71.7 million tons in 2007). Colombia is also a significant producer of gold, silver, platinum and a world leader in emerald production. The country is the 5th largest gold producer in South America and 21st largest in the world.

Currently, the majority of gold produced in Colombia is sourced from alluvial operations in Antioquia and Chocó (Table 4-4). In 2010, the hard rock and alluvial operations in Bolívar accounted for 7.2% of reported Colombian gold production (SIMCO, 2010b).