Glencore Xstrata Plc has signed a contract with the
Bolivian government to explore Bolívar and Porco mines
in the countrys Oruro and Potosí regions,
AMM sister publication Metal Bulletin
"There is a new joint
venture with the Bolivian government," a source close to
Glencore Xstrata told Metal Bulletin.
The contract aims to
guarantee zinc-lead-silver production in the Oruro and
Potosí districts over the next 15 years.
The agreement comes a
year after Bolivias then-acting president Álvaro
García Linera nationalized the Colquiri zinc-tin
project, operated by Glencore subsidiary Sinchi Wayra SA.
Under the new
contract, Bolivian state mining company Corporación
Minera de Bolivia (Comibol) will own 55 percent of the venture,
while Glencore Xstrata subsidiaries will hold the
Switzerland-based Glencore Xstrata will initially invest $100
million in the Porco project and total investment could reach
$700 million, according to Comibol.
decision to nationalize Colquiri came after hundreds of
independent miners took over the mine, injuring at least seven
Sinchi Wayra workers.
At the time, Glencore
"strongly protested" the nationalization of its Colquiri mine
and said the decision raised questions about future policy
toward foreign investment.
President Evo Morales on Sept. 19 enacted the Reversion Act for
Mining Rights, which aims to nationalize about 1,700 private
mining concessions that are considered "unproductive."
"The new law has no
impact on the companys [Glencore Xstrata] business in
Bolivia," the source close to the company added.
A version of this article was first
published in AMM sister publication Metal