Bolivia Plans to Invest One Billion USD to Industrialize Mining

By Dialogo
October 28, 2010

The current government should do the same in Colombia, create the Banco Minero with about 3 billion dollars and support all LEGALIZED mining, and impose a percentage for Silviagriculture with compensatory REFORESTATION in the impact of farms, mainly foreign. Investors will benefit from the same mines, it creates many jobs and improves the environment.
Bolivia plans to use one billion dollars from its net international reserves (NIR) to pursue mining industrialization projects in sectors such as, principally, lithium, zinc, copper, gold, and iron, an official source announced on 26 October.

The deputy minister for productive development in mining and metallurgy, Héctor Córdova, judged that the government “cannot miss the opportunity to have this happen, without reacting (to the windfall of high international prices),” and proposed that the state pursue all links in the mining production chain.

“The state has to be the producer, the one who is working at every link in the mining chain: exploration, exploitation, refining, obtaining the metal, whether by smelting or by other methods, and commercialization,” he proposed, speaking to the Catholic radio station Fides.

Official data from the state-owned Central Bank of Bolivia (BCB, the bank of issue) reveal that its reserves are over 9 billion dollars, representing around 50% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“A billion dollars will get us a good part of what we’ve thought about: the zinc plants are 500 million dollars to set up, exploiting lithium carbonate will need around 300 million in the first phase,” Córdova explained.

The Central Bank recently authorized a loan of one billion dollars for hydrocarbon industrialization.

Mining exports between January and July of this year were worth 1.056 billion dollars, compared to 719.4 million recorded during the same period in 2009. If this trend continues, mining sales could be worth more than 2 billion dollars at the end of the year, according to official forecasts.