So there I was, pootling around the Nicaragua export bureau website…y’know, like you do on a normal Monday…looking at the export mix for Nicaragua and how the rise of gold exports in said country has changed in recent years. Here are a couple of charts put together from the datamining. This one gives the overview of all exports, including the top eight sector exports (coffee beans are the biggest traditional export, though beef recently caught up with the beans and took a slight lead in 2011) from 2006 to 2011 and as the six month figures for 2012 are also out, we can compare them to the 2011 six and 12 month totals and make an educated guess or two about how 2012 is shaping up.
Yes, the land of Daniel Ortega has been doing very well export-wise recently. In the six years fully registered (’06 to ’11) the total country exports are up by 116.6% in dollar terms and 2012 is shaping up as beating 2012 as well (not bad for a world recession year). But the one that catches the eye, for this metalhead at least, is the rise in gold exports:
Back in 2006 gold made up less than 5% of the country’s export mix. In 2011 that was up to 15.7% and it looks like rising further this year (with U$198.57m already dispatched in the first six months of 2012). The main reason is the moves made by B2Gold (BTO.to) to re-open the La Libertad mine and get its other Nica asset at Limón running more smoothly than ever before, but it’s also testament to the miner-friendly attitude of the country and its government. Gold is now the third largest export product in Nicaragua and if the growth keeps up it will soon be up there fighting it out for the top spot.