Colombia Cracking Down on Illegal Tungsten MiningColombia’s government is preparing to seize and close an illegal tungsten mine run by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

In early August, Bloomberg released an expose showing that tungsten was being mined illegally for profit by the FARC. Since then, the Colombian government has been assembling its forces to put a stop to the activity.

“We are planning and organizing an operation to shut it down,” National Police Col. Jose Gerardo Acevedo, who commands Colombia’s rural police, told Bloomberg.“We are closing in on that region to be able to get to the mine.”

The FARC has been using illegally mined tungsten from its Tiger Hill mine, located in a remote part of the Amazon jungle, to supply leading multinational companies, including technology firms like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Samsung (KRX:005930), along with auto makers like BMW (ETR:BMW), Porsche (ETR:PAH3) and Ferrari.

According to Acevedo, the police knew that the FARC had been profiting from the illegal mining of tungsten. However, the fact that the illegal materials were being exported to multinationals was unknown.

Metal-Pages states that the operation to dismantle the FARC’s illegal mining follows a European Union decision to “impose tough laws to prevent businesses from buying gold and other minerals” that have helped fund conflicts in Colombia for decades.


Securities Disclosure: I, Vivien Diniz, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.