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Suddenly Colombia is a hot mining country Add to ...

The mining landscape is changing and Colombia is fast becoming an important player. With gold above $1,300 an ounce, the country's deposits are getting much more attention as giant gold companies take a close look at the junior miners who have set up shop.

Getting in on the action, Brazil's EBX Group made its move for Ventana Gold Corp. Wednesday, offering $1.2-billion in an all-cash takeover. The offer comes shortly after Ventana released its 43-101 mineral resource estimate in early November, which inferred about 3.5 million ounces of gold. As always, these initial estimates are best viewed as ballpark figures but Ventana's gave the company's shares a quick pop.

The takeover offer alters the discussions on Colombia. For years any talk of the country's mining projects centred around Greystar Resources Ltd., which just so happens to operate right beside Ventana's wholly-owned La Bodega gold project and has about 12 million ounces of gold in the ground. But lately the country is getting a lot more play, with its name popping up in more conversations.

Big names are invested in the country, too. EBX is owned by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, who already holds 20 per cent of Ventana through a side entity known as 63X Master Fund. Second on the Ventana's list of stock holders is Ross Beaty, who invested through Lumina Capital.

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