The yellow metal rises with silver also gaining, despite a strengthening US dollar, although ABN AMRO is forecasting H1 price falls.
Roberto de Andraca has been with the company since 1960.
The Brazilian refractory brick producer implemented the system unit-by-unit.
Sharp rise in gold exports reflects higher output at the Pueblo Viejo mine and improved prices, while overall mineral exports are lifted by the restart of nickel production at the Falcondo operation.
Copper, also buoyed by ongoing uncertainty over contract negotiations at the Escondida mine in Chile, hits a one-month high.