Latin American gold production should increase more than 10 percent this year, Metals Economics Group said Wednesday.
The MEG report says about two-thirds of Latin American production is from primary gold mines and the rest is from secondary sources, mostly copper and silver mines.
Although Chile is Latin America's fifth-largest gold producer, behind Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, it holds the largest share of gold in active nonproducing projects equating to 29 percent of gold contained in resources under development.
Mexico holds the second-largest nonproducing gold resources and the largest producing resources with 28 percent of gold contained in producing resources.
In addition to the advanced exploration projects that are progressing from reserves development to production, early-stage exploration by junior companies is contributing to the Latin American gold project pipeline.
Since 2000, junior companies' allocations to all stages of Latin American gold exploration have increased each year except during 2001-02 when gold prices were languishing at the $300 per ounce level and in 2009 when the equity markets collapsed.
The number of exploration successes has followed the same general trend.