Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I'm Jim Bannantine, president of Aura Minerals.
We're a Toronto Stock Exchange listed company under the symbol ORA. Just for reference, last year we were a $350-million revenue company, with our operations split among Toronto, Vancouver, Mexico, Honduras, and Brazil. We produce copper and gold. We produced 200,000 ounces of gold last year and 14 million pounds of copper. For reference purposes, of our operations, our mine in Honduras, which is a gold mine called San Andres, was $100 million of our $340-million revenue last year. That's just for reference purposes.
With respect to the subject for today, at a high level we believe that the best hope for Honduras and Central America in general is integration into the economies of North America: economic integration. We also believe this is good for Canada in terms of security, human rights, environmental issues, democracy—CSR in general.
We also see in the regions we're operating in, both in Honduras and Mexico, production moving from Asia back to the Americas, in particular production that's integrated with engineering design, marketing, and manufacturing and production—or elements of production—split between the various countries in the area. We believe this provides jobs in these countries, which is the best defence against what is the biggest problem in the areas we're mining and operating in, and that is narco-violence. The best defence against a young man's going into the narco business is a job. So the best thing for security, the best thing for human rights, is employment and jobs.
Going from a macro level down to the micro level, in our own particular case, to put things into perspective, we've employed over the last two years between 13 and 25 people between Vancouver and Toronto, and we have a monthly payroll in those two cities of about $400,000. So they're good jobs. Over the last two years we have spent approximately $10 million on engineering and services in those markets, on various engineering and consulting firms that we use for the technology and services we need both to operate and to build the mines where we're operating.
If you look at our website, you'll see we publish annually a corporate social responsibility report. A big part of management's efforts and our efforts in the region is corporate social responsibility, including environmental and human rights, all of this governed by the Equator Principles, as defined by international finance corporations standards of the World Bank. We are often standard bearers in the countries that we operate in, including in Honduras.
Honduras had a democratic presidential election last November. Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president, but there was a very vigorous contest with a very high voter turnout.
We also don't believe at this point in time, even today, that democracy can be taken for granted in the areas where we operate. We operate in Latin America, but we see examples in Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Cuba, and even Nicaragua, next to us, of a lot lacking.
At least as far as we can see, we think the economies of Canada and Honduras are complementary. Honduras's competitive advantage and focus is on tropical products such as fruit, textiles, coffee, and in our case minerals. Honduras, in our case, also benefits from Canadian services, technology, and manufacturing.
At $100 million in revenue, our wholly owned mine in Honduras is one of the biggest companies in the country. We employ about 700 people at the mine, one of two mines in the country. There's a great potential for many more mines in Honduras. Obviously, mining is a very significant sector for Canada. We're the world leaders in mining, and so more mines in Honduras and Central America should mean more opportunities for Canadian companies.
Central America is very narrow, and the biggest part of the land mass is mountains. They are the spine, the backbone, that goes from North America to South America. There's good geology there, a lot of good faults. However, relative to the geology there are very few mines. I think there's potential.
Honduras passed a new mining law last year. It still has room for improvement, and it's still open for improvement, but the new mining law was debated and there was a lot of input from Canadian companies and Canadian consultants into the new mining law. Again, we're still working on that.
Specifically with respect to the free trade agreement, the investment protection provision is the greatest element of the free trade agreement in our favour. A new mine is $100 million-plus. It's a big investment. It takes many years to recoup that investment, to amortize that investment. The investment provision in the free trade agreement is the single most important element to us.
With that, I'll conclude my comments and look forward to your questions later.