GOLD IN ARGENTINA
Gold production in Argentina is on an upswing, just in time to coincide with growing worldwide demand. Changes to Argentinian mining law in 1993, have led to an environment where mining activity increases rapidly from year to year. Gold production has gone up from 36 thousand ounces in 1993 to 1.4 million ounces in 2008. In the broader spectrum of mining, exports in the sector rose from US$200 million 1994 to US$1.2 billion ten years later. In 2007, mineral exports totaled more than $2 billion.
Over the last three years, Argentina has emerged as one of Latin America's leading producers of gold, silver and copper. These metals once accounted for just 24% of the country's mining earnings, compared to 66% for construction materials and industrial minerals. That industry collapsed in 2002, after an economic slowdown in the late 1990's created difficulties in bringing these rich deposits to world markets. As a result Argentina's economy shrunk by 10.9% in 2002. However, since then the GDP has risen by 45%, at an average of 8.6% per year.
Even with such robust activity in Argentina's mining sector, it is estimated that 75% of the nation's mineral wealth has yet to be exploited.