South America has a strong, active and prosperous gold mining industry which is internationally recognized. Gold mining culture here pre-dates European colonization and the Incas and Mayas have been mining gold since time immemorial.
Several major international resource companies are active across the continent especially in Brazil, Chile, Peru and Argentina with major mining operations and excellent mining support infrastructure. However, gold mining opportunities remain plentiful in Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Guyana, Suriname and even some remote areas of the upper Amazon region and higher plateaus of the Andes mountain range.
Some countries are politically unstable while in some places environmental and human rights issues are of major concern. The lack of transparent government policy is also a hindrance to significant investment in this part of the world.
Though opportunities abound, Virgin Gold has been cautious as always. Exploration costs are sky high and the success rate is declining. These days it costs an average of $50 to find each ounce of gold, against $7.50 in today's money half a century ago.
To increase its footprint and production capacity in South America, Virgin Gold is employing a strategy of cooperation and joint ventures with local mine operators through its offshore set ups.