Bolivia mining

Trying to carve out a Bolivian mining industry purely on his own terms is proving tricky for Bolivia’s leftwing President Evo Morales.

Recently, he was forced to give out some disappointing numbers about the performance of the Colquiri mine, which the government took over from London-listed commodities giant Glencore in June of last year, during a dispute between rival mining unions. Read more

Bolivia’s first indigenous president, Evo Morales, was often cast as a champion of the environment. So much, that last month Bolivia passed the world’s first ruling that grants rights to nature.

The law, which the former llama herder and coca grower called a means “to live in equilibrium and harmony with Mother Earth,” gives spiritual value to the land – way beyond its intrinsic environmental, social, and not to mention, economic significance. Read more

After comings and goings, Bolivia’s leftist government with an indigenous twist finally ruled out paying compensation to Canada’s South American Silver, two months after their mining licence was revoked.

“The nation has no financial obligation to South American Silver,” mining minister Mario Virreira told reporters, adding there was “never any document establishing that the Bolivian government had a contractual relationship” with the Vancouver-based company. Read more

Next time a president of a resource-rich country thinks nationalisation of mining assets is a way of solving internal conflicts, s/he would do well to take a look at Bolivia, where salaried and independent miners have been violently fighting for the control of a recently nationalised mine. Read more

Mining has been the backbone of the recent growth of Bolivia and Peru. It also seems to be potential money spinner for their Andean neighbour, Ecuador. But despite certain ideological similarities, when it comes to mining, the approaches of their leaders seem to differ.

In Bolivia, after some protracted protests, the government of Evo Morales on Thursday signed a decree authorizing the seizure of a silver deposit operated by South American Silver, part of a Canadian mining group. Read more

It’s been a bad week for mining in Bolivia.

President Evo Morales’ government moved 600 troops to the site of Glencore’s Colquiri tin mine on Friday after 15 people were wounded in ongoing protests between two sets of miners.

Company miners want to “nationalise” the site, which is already owned by state mining company Comibol, but operated by Glencore. Co-operative miners who want access to more parts of the site oppose the move. Read more