Honduras: Bad Times for Mining

The 150% plummet that exports have suffered in the last two years is attributed to a fall in international prices of metals.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The fall in international prices of metals is the main reason behind the drop of almost 150% in foreign sales in the mining sector from 2015 to date. In the first half of 2015 the value of exports amounted to $256 million, while in the same period in 2016, it fell to $80.5 million, according to the Honduran Institute of Geology and Mines (Inhgeomin).

The director of the institution Agapito Rodriguez, told Laprensa.hn that "... 'Strong exports in the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 increased sales of iron oxide, and on top of this, before the new Mining Act came into effect various marketers came into play; but iron exports began to decline in 2015 and throughout 2016 they were nil, this was due to falling ore prices and to the fact that the biggest market is China, which decreased its imports of this mineral because of depreciation of its currency'."

He added that "... 'Now it has begun to improve, but not enough to increase foreign exchange earnings to the levels we had before. We hope that it will at least add up to more than last year. "Foreign exchange generated from shipments up to June this year were distributed as follows : iron oxide with $112.950; zinc, with $17.8 million; gold and silver, with $54 million; coal, with $629.372; sand and gravel, with $7 million, and other metals, with $764,000. "

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Mining in Honduras: $168 million Exported in 2017

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Gold, silver, lead and zinc were some of the main materials exported during 2017, and the main buyers were the USA, Germany, Aruba, Austria and Belgium.

The authorities at the Honduran Institute of Geology and Mines (Inhgeomin) presented figures for 2017 and explained that the good performance achieved last year was mainly due to favourable international prices and to the reactivation in economies such as the United States, which led to an increase in demand for metals and minerals, especially for construction.

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Honduras: Mining Exports Up 23%

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In the first quarter of the year, exports from the mining sector totaled $39 million, an increase of 23% compared to the same period in 2016.

From a report by the Central Bank of Honduras:

The products classified in the mining activity accounted for an exported value of US $39.0 million, US $7.4 million (23.3%) more than in relation to March 2016; brought about by an improvement in the price of minerals in the international market, which has encouraged the largest shipments. 

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The growth of the metal mining sector and the framework provided by a new mining law have generated interest from foreign companies.  

Up until October 2013, the share of mineral products in exports of general merchandise was $232.7 million, equivalent to 7%. This, and the adoption of a new mining law last year, has attracted interest from foreign investors who have set their eyes on Honduras.

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