Mining in Latin America and its recent development

Latin America makes a considerable contribution to the world output of minerais, and at the present time mining is an important sector of the economy in several countries. Although mining production in the region increased by 4 per cent annually during the 1960s, the increase being greatest in the case of the most important minerais, Latin America’s share in world output declined, except as regards production of iron, nickel and tin. This relative decline was particularly sharp in bauxite, copper and lead. Available data for 1971 and part of 1972 show that the rate of growth has slowed. Although during the past decade the volume of mining production grew less than the region’s gross domestic product (5.5 per cent at market prices), the marked improvement in world prices for the principal metals enabled the sector to maintain its contribution to the product at around 4 per cent. Mining plays an important part in the foreign trade of several Latin American countries, and the share of this sector (excluding hydrocarbons) in the total value of Latin American exports increased throughout the past decade, since from 14.7 per cent in 1961 it rose to 16.8 per cent in 1965 and 21.4 per cent in 1970. In absolute terms, the value of mining exports grew from 1,213 million dollars in 1961 to 2,961 million in 1970—a cumulative annual growth rate of 10.5 per cent.

Related Subject(s): Economic and Social Development
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