Reserves are natural bitumen are found in Magdanela Basin in Colombia. Colombian Gilsonite mines are spread over this area and mostly exploited by private entities. The specifications of Gilsonite from Colombia can vary from mine to mine, but generally there are two kinds of products:
One is Grahamite, similar to American Gilsonite and Iran Gilsonite. Other is Asphaltite which is more Fusible and more similar to asphalt with lower softening point (and in result lower flash point) and lower carbon content and it is called Asphaltite.
The Colombian Gilsonite Ash content is from 3% to 15% depending on the resource and it basically has a high solubility in TCE (Bitumen content) rate. The Colombian Gilsonite can be supplied in both Lumps and powder depending on clients’ request and it is currently being exported to several countries but mostly to USA, being one of the buyers as American Gilsonite Company (AGC).
Considering the price level, the Colombian Gilsonite has a good advantage for lower ash cargoes as the FOB price of Colombia is similar to Iranian resource on the same Ash content level and way below American Natural Bitumen prices, but the logistics from Colombia to most destinations is expensive making the CFR prices not to be competitive internationally comparing to substitute resources from Iran or in some cases Albania.
Another aspect of Colombian Gilsonite is the supply structure which just like Iranian Gilsonite is full of Mini -Suppliers (Small time) which could not be trusted by the international customers for quality and commercial terms. Very few companies, who do have the right resources for international business, do a constant supply of Colombian Gilsonite to USA including in Drilling application.