Lima, Apr. 14. The value of gold exports from Peru is likely to reach US$ 9 billion in 2014, due to a better outlook for this year in the conditions of the international mineral price, the National Society of Mining, Petroleum and Energy (SNMPE) said on Monday.
Jose Miguel Morales, SNMPE’s head, noted the Andean nation holds a privileged position for taking advantage of a rising gold price environment projected for the second half of 2014.
“Within this environment exports’ earnings from this sector could match the amount recorded in 2012, thus surpassing US$ 9 billion,” he said in statements to El Peruano official daily.
According to Peru-based bank Scotiabank, the downward pressure on the international gold price is expected to finish, giving way to an upward trend in prices.
In that sense, Morales stressed Peru is top performer in Latin America in terms of gold production with output of 165 metric tons per year, while in the global standing, the Andean nation ranks sixth.
Peru's output of about 165 tonnes matches its 2012 production. Andina published a picture of Peruvian gold bars with the note:
The picture does not make it clear, but if I had to guess, the above gold would be doré bars (typically produced at the larger mines) or from gold mills for the smaller miners. Note that there are numbers taped to the bars, but otherwise are unmarked or marked only slightly. They do not have the "refined" and polished look that most gold bars have.
Doré bars are typically from 55% - 80% or so gold with the balance being silver. The always useful site goldbarsworldwide.com (highly recommended!) has a description of doré bars here (.pdf, bottom of Page 7):
CNBC (http://www.cnbc.com/id/43974868) says:
Gold mines produce rough gold, called a dore bar. These bars are typically about 80 percent pure gold. The gold is then sent to a refinery, where it is refined into gold of different forms and purity.
The Malartic Gold Mine in Quebec that I visited and wrote about in June 2013 produces their own doré bars of about 55% gold.
Here is a doré gold bar from Peru (produced by Inca One Resources):
Inca One Resources is a Canadian company that is buying small gold mills in Peru. A recent law in Peru is tightening up standards there, so Inca One is buying up small mills in various parts of Peru to conform with the law (as many of the small mill owners are unable to comply with the regulations there in Peru). Here is Inca One's introduction on their home page (http://incaone.com/):
Inca One Resources Corp (TSX-V: IO) is a Canadian-based mineral resource company and ore processing company with a gold milling facility in Peru, servicing government-permitted small-scale miners. A highly mineral-rich country, Peru is one of the world’s top producers of gold, silver, copper and zinc, with substantial production coming from small scale miners who need government permitted milling facilities to process their ore (such as the Company’s Chala plant).
Inca One is a very small junior gold company out of Vancouver. They have one mill running now (Chala, some 650 km SSE of Lima, near small artisan miners, whom they hope to have as their ore supplies, Inca One acquired this facility in 2013), I believe the above bar is their ONLY production to date. They also have a small mine 88 km east of Lima which they appear to want to develop. Here is Inca One's "Fact Sheet":
As Andina mentioned above, Peru is Latin America's number one gold producer and number six in the world. They are on the verge of displacing South Africa if the latter's production goes down and/or if Peru is able to up their production in the coming years.
Peru has always had gold as a part of its culture, from the pre-Incas (from about 500 BC) until the present. Some Inca (perhaps pre-Inca, but likely Inca, from National Geographic, 2006), the first item is an Inca headdress:
All of the Native Americans liked nature, the Incas liked making animal images out of gold (from a museum in Munich, Germany, photo via maryldonner.com), these are jaguars:
A Peruvian 20 Gold Soles coin from 1863 (from coinshome.net):
APMEX occasionally has Peruvian One Libra coins for sale, picture from apmex.com:
These Peruvian gold coins are hard to find and expensive down there, as it appears that there is genuine numismatical interest among Peruvian collectors. I priced a One Libra coin when I was down there that was some 50% over its spot gold metal value, and the coin I looked at was not rare.
Peru's largest export is now gold. Peru's economy is doing rather well now (in contrast to much of South America -- I just ran into my friend who sells capital equipment (pumps & compressors), he told me most of Latin America is slow now). Gold will be an important part of the Peruvian economy for a long time.