Colombia’s Top Gold Producer Plans Takeover by Year-End

Mineros SA is planning to acquire a new gold mining asset in Latin America before year-end, as Colombia’s top producer targets growth abroad amid lower prices and uncertainty at home.

The asset is fully-permitted and could add 80,000 ounces a year to Mineros’ output once developed should the deal proceed, Chief Executive Officer Beatriz Uribe said.

“Mining company prices have fallen a huge amount, more than the gold price would imply,” Uribe said today in an interview in her office in Medellin, declining to say where the asset is located. “It’s a good time to buy.”

Mineros expects gold to average about $1,300 an ounce for the rest of the year, and anticipates reaching its 2014 production target of 120,000 ounces in Colombia, broadly similar to output in 2012 and 2013.

The company sees greater room for growth in Nicaragua where it bought a 90 percent stake in Hemco Nicaragua SA in March last year. Production in Nicaragua will likely exceed its Colombian output in two years to three years, Uribe said.

“Nicaragua is going well. We’ve made important operational investments to improve the plant and mine use,” Uribe said. “We’re already seeing results.”

The company will meet a 75,000 ounce production target this year in Nicaragua, Uribe said.

Colombia’s second-largest gold miner, Gran Colombia Gold Corp., produced 19,200 ounces in the South American state in the first quarter this year, compared with 25,811 ounces for Mineros.

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