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Colombia's economic growth slowed in the third quarter as declines in mining, hydrocarbons, electricity and agriculture offset gains in manufacturing, construction and banking, the government said.
GDP expanded 1.2% in the quarter on an annual basis compared with 3.3% a year earlier, the country's statistics office (DANE) said in a report. Growth was hampered by a 46-day cargo strike that ended in July.
Metallic mining contracted 1.3% in the quarter as iron ore output plunged by half, followed by emeralds (-35.8%) and gold (-5%), the agency said. Protests by illegal miners in September curtailed gold production at Gran Colombia Gold's operations in Segovia and Antioquia departments.
Platinum production rose 21%, while coal output was up 17% and nickel climbed 0.7%, DANE said. Colombia is Latin America's largest coal producer.
Non-metallic mining output fell 2.3%, according to the agency. Manufacturing gained 2% even as non-metallic mineral products fell 9.6% and basic metallurgical products slid 3.6%.
Colombia has lined up gold, silver and copper mining projects including AngloGold Ashanti's Gramalote and La Colosa, Eco Oro Minerals' Angostura and Continental Gold's Buritica. Vancouver-based Red Eagle Mining started up production at its US$55mn San Ramón gold mine this month.
Construction expanded 5.8% as work on office and apartment buildings rose 11% and civil engineering works were up 2%. President Juan Manuel Santos' government has outlined an infrastructure investment program totaling US$112bn through 2020 in a bid to make Colombia's exports more competitive.