A British Colombian gold firm has reported that it was the victim of a robbery on Wednesday, and lost 1,500 ounces - or $2 million worth - of gold. The firm, Luna Gold Corp., has a mine in Aurizona, Brazil, that is unfortunately in a rather isolated location, between two cities: Sao Luis and Belem, in Maranhao state. This isolation made it easier for theft to occur. None of the employees at the Canadian-owned mine were harmed, and officials have confirmed that they have insurance, and are in the process of filing an insurance claim.
As reported by the National Post, mine officials for Luna Gold did not release an estimate on the loss, but its spot price trading rate for gold at the time was US$1,410.69, valuing the precious metal at just over $1.2 million. Canadian Business online has added that Luna was in the commissioning stage at its Aurizona gold mine.
Unfortunately, this is not the first robbery to hit Brazil in recent times. Troy Resources, based in Andorinhas, Brazil, was robbed in February of this past year and lost about $2.23 million worth of gold. In that case, the armed robbers held three employees hostage on the road before returning to steal 2,000 ounces of gold doré from the mine. Like Luna, Troy Resources was fully insured, and worked with local authorities to file an insurance claim.
Companies who operate mining companies in Brazil admit that the region comes with a certain amount of risk. Political unrest and corruption make robberies and violence more likely, as evidenced by these most recent crimes. Security and employee safety is consistently an issue. Troy Chairman John Dow spoke with press after last year's theft and said that such risks come with the territory: "It is worth the hassle," he is quoted as saying; "you have to go where the gold is."