Nov. 19, 2021


Lombardo Paredes

Colombia

Lombardo Paredes

CEO, Gran Colombia Gold

Gran Colombia Gold has become the leading gold producing company in Colombia mainly by focusing on strengthening its production capacity and taking care of community relations.

BIO

Lombardo Paredes holds a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering and a master of economic analysis and financial economics. He brings to his position over 20 years of corporate leadership and operations management experience in the resource sector in Latin America. During this career, he held several important roles within Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), such as vice president of public affairs and managing director and a board member of Maraven S.A., an affiliate of PDVSA.


2020 was the fifth consecutive year that Gran Colombia Gold met or exceeded its annual production guidance. To what do you attribute this consistency?

I would attribute it to management. Gran Colombia Gold understands the value of people, discipline, and a commitment to long-term strategy. The community's best interest is a guiding pillar of company policy, which results in resiliency and performance in terms of production. A company culture that rewards a strict adherence to norms and protocols proved especially important during the pandemic. Mining is the segment of the Colombian economy that was best able to incorporate bio-security protocols and social distancing procedures to maintain production while protecting its employees. Except for April, mining operations did not see any significant reduction in activity. Another component that contributes to the resiliency of Gran Colombia Gold is that we have earned a social license to operate thanks to the work we do directly with local communities. The arrival of the company in 2010 had a transformative effect for the Remedios region, bringing with it stability and safety for its inhabitants. It has also been a source of opportunity and economic prosperity for many individuals and their families. A company is its employees, and when those employees are outstanding in human talent and committed to the company, performance is a byproduct.

What ESG actions has Gran Colombia Gold taken amidst the pandemic?

The pandemic reinforced the importance of having good relationships with the community. The company invested heavily in social programs to ensure the wellbeing of its employees, their families, and neighbors. In 2020, Gran Colombia Gold invested more than USD5 million in both community assistance programs and adapting operations with COVID-19 protocols. Onsite, we invested heavily in protection and monitoring technology such as biometric facial recognition that facilitated touchless access, health screening, and mask compliance. We also conducted nutrition programs and health assistance such as grocery distribution to vulnerable families in Segovia, Remedios, Caldas, Riosucio, and surrounding areas of Chinchiná and Marmato. Additionally, our ESG program has an important focus on contributing permanently to community in matters of education and health. For example, we collaborate closely with SENA and Comfama to develop programs that extend and enhance opportunities for Colombians. In 2020, we invested USD5 million on the construction of a hospital and a new high school in Segovia to increase the opportunity for children to receive higher-level education. Community welfare and social responsibility are guiding principles of Gran Colombia Gold.

What is Gran Colombia Gold's business development strategy?

Our objective is to increase our gold reserves in Segovia and strengthen our production capacity in Colombia. The National Mining Agency (AMN) recently granted a 30-year extension of mining titles to our spin-off Caldas Gold. Our vision to increase our stake in gold production in Caldas and in Colombian mining more generally. However, we are cognizant of the benefits of a diversified portfolio. Having exposure to the jurisdictional advantages that exist in different countries—while maintaining our commitment and focus on Colombia—is important. Right now, Gran Colombia Gold is investing in projects in different countries such as Canada, Guyana, Spain, and Colombia. Gran Colombia Gold is investing in several companies in the world, but Segovia will remain our focus.

What is the role of mining in the Colombian economic reactivation?

Mining has been one of the industries that has contributed the most and is contributing to the economy reactivation during and post pandemic. The country leads Latin America in terms of attractiveness for investment. At a moment where exports are hindered by pandemic protocols, and government revenue is in a strain, mining plays an important role at a macro level. Mining also has the advantage of benefiting communities directly through contributions to state revenue and taxes that go directly to local communities neighboring mines. Mining companies have been an important help for rural communities during pandemic.

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