In August 2011, Reuters reported that the world’s biggest mining company, BHP Billiton, had agreed to pay US$19. 6 million in back royalties to the Colombian government. This was in return for its being allowed to continue operating Latin America’s biggest nickel mine and ferronickel operations, at Cerro Matoso. A year later and, according to the country’s mining minister, BHP Billiton is offering to cough up only US$1.5 million – less than a 12th of its previous offer.