Colombian Region Revamps Economy With Mining Expansion

With a fast-growing and diverse economy, Caldas Department in Colombia is quickly becoming a hotspot for international mining companies.

The province has seen robust business in the coffee, real estate and trade sectors, which continues to bring more people to the region. A whopping 27.3% of the Caldas economy is geared toward commerce, according to one report.

The region has shown tremendous success in generating wealth, but hasn’t seen the same thing with job creation. As the pandemic hit, Caldas’ unemployment rate soared along with the rest of the country.

The mining industry is hoping to change that.

Caldas Popular for Coffee, Tourism

Caldas is a province in the “Paisa” region in west-central Colombia. It has 27 municipalities that are divided into six different regions. There are rivers on each side of Caldas, with the Magdalena River to the east and the Cauca River to the west.

Caldas is such a popular spot for tourism partly because of its diversity — there is something for everyone here. Manizales, the capital of Caldas, has a lively social scene, with restaurants, shopping and more. In the more rural areas of Caldas, it’s easy to visit many different coffee fields and farms while driving in a landscape of stunningly beautiful mountains.

The Caldas region is one of the most well-known coffee producers and the second-largest coffee producer in the country. Colombia is responsible for approximately 10% of the world’s coffee supply.

According to the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia, coffee production supports more than 32,000 families in the department of Caldas alone.

Mining Comes to Caldas 

Collective Mining, a gold exploration company, currently has two projects in Colombia: the Guayabales project and San Antonio project.

The Guayabales project is located in the Caldas department, which has 500 years of mining history within the community. It’s an exploration and development company focused on identifying and exploring prospective gold projects.

In April 2021, the company made an agreement with the Coffee Growers Committee of Caldas and the Municipality of Supía to improve local infrastructure, upgrade access to water for local communities and support coffee producers which will reduce the unemployment rate through a partnership meant to create more initiatives in the region.

A Mutually Beneficial Arrangement

Countries looking to diversify their economies and reduce debt want to ensure that private enterprises can operate successfully.

Latin America’s growing credit crunch and a lack of financial stimulus during the global pandemic has some economies desperate to expand. However, the story is still being written with new investment, new projects, and ambition coming from regions like Caldas.

This development is also being scrutinized carefully. Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and other mining hotbeds are only permitting and supporting projects that follow the strictest standards and ESG rules.

Local communities are being consulted carefully across the board, creating some of the partnerships like the one between Collective Mining, the Coffee Growers Committee of Caldas and the Municipality of Supía.

These standards will be scrutinized closely as The Guayabales project and San Antonio project continue to be drilled and explored.

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