October 1, 2012

Colombia, 1913

In 1913, export of Quibdo platina from Cartagena was estimated at 249.55 kgs, nearly as much as the Gold-ore but curiously, with the suspicion the total Chocó export was 'twice as high.' Later totals (1918) would imply the platina export from Buenaventura was ~217 kgs:  466.56 kgs (USD$ 507,000) in 1913.  Of the entire Colombian yield, 325.38 kgs or 69.74% of the total was exported to the USA. 

The 2.88% difference between Cartagena and New York prices (USD$ 0.97) might account for shipping and insurance costs.

1913: 1 Troy Ounce Gold (Cartagena: Colombian ore) = USD$ 17.55
1913: 1 Troy Oz. platina (Cartagena: Colombian ore) = USD$ 34.29

1913: 1 Troy Oz. platina (NYC: Colombian ore) = USD$ 34.77
1913: 1 Troy Oz. platina (NYC: Colombian ore, intrinsic) ~ USD$ 41.39

Citation: Daily consular and trade reports, Part 2, Issues 76-152 ; Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce (March 16, 1914, # 62)

Citation: Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 107, #2,  ; American Institute of Mining Engineers (1/11/1919)

Citation: The Jewelers' Circular, Vol. 85, Issue 2 (11/1/1922) p.77

Factoring the telegraph, New York news arrived about ~30 days later.  

Cartagena merchants "paid" miners 30% the last month's New York Spot for intrinsic Platinum, additionally deducting for 'impurities' (other PGMs) on which they actually realized additional profit in sales to New York buyers.  Assuming 84% purity ore and whereas local Silver Pesos in Chocó were officially rated C$1.38 per Troy Oz.,  per English Troy Ounce of platina, local miners received:

USD$/C$ 34.77 * 33% = $11.58 * 90% = C$ 10.42

Poorer still for the intrinsic coin-silver value, the equivalent 7.538 Troy Ounces Silver (C$) was theoretically worth just USD$ 0.604 per Oz = USD$ 4.55!

Citation: Colombia: a commercial and industrial handbook ; Purl Lord Bell, United States. Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce (1921) p.109


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