The Bolivian government has invested Bs.50 million in Mallku Khota mine since its reversion to the state in 2013. However, the Mining Minister, Cesar Navarro, noted that the project needs an injection of $US620 million to allow the exploitation of 15,000 to 40,000 tonnes of minerals per day. He added that the government consider a joint venture for the project.
San Buenaventura Sugarmill (EASBA) could invest $US4 million in the production of bio-ethanol, according to its manager, Ramiro Lizondo. The investment would be destined to the construction a dehydration plant with a capability of at least 200,000 litres per day. Enough to allow the company to compete in the biofuels market in Bolivia.
The nationalised Mallku Khota mine could benefit Bolivia with $US 8.8 bn based in its deposits of silver, plumber, zinc and gallium. Bolivia won an international arbitrage against Canada’s Andean Silver and will have to pay only $US18.7 million to the Canadian firm.
Siemens began the construction of a training and service centre in Bolivia to support electric-energy exportation projects in the country. The German firm will invest $US21 million in the centre.
Petrobras is considering to buy less Bolivian gas, according to the Brazilian publication O Globo. The president of Petrobras, Roberto Castello Branco said that he wants to review the contract with Bolivia. Under the agreement, Petrobras is committed to buying 24 million cubic metres (Mcm) of gas per day, and there were moments that the shipments reached 30Mcm per day. Petrobras wants to buy only 15Mcm as the demand in the local market was low, and the company has enough reserves to cover the domestic market.
An international arbitration court ruled that Bolivia should pay $US18 million to South American Silver Limited for the reversion of Mallku Khota mine in Potosi. South American Silver, a Canadian firm, demanded Bolivia in 2013 asking for $US 385.7 million in compensation. The government insisted that the Canadian company invested $US18 million and offered to pay only this sum. The international arbitration court ruled in favour of Bolivia in this case.
The pay of a second Christmas bonus proposed by the Government is still contested by the private sector and also by the main trade union in Bolivia. The Morales Administration confirmed that the Christmas bonus should go ahead because the economy will grow 4.61%. However, the private sector represented by the Confederación de Empresarios Privados de Bolivia (CEPB), rejected the initiative arguing that it will put the economy and jobs at risk. Meanwhile, the main trade union (COB) rejected all the government proposals to comply with the payment of the bonus and demanded its cancellation before 20 December.
The payment of the second end-of-year bonus must be fulfilled regardless who likes it or not, insisted the Work Minister, Andres Hinojosa. However, the private sector keeps its position of not paying the bonus as it considers it a “perverse decree” that impacts profoundly on revenues, according to the representative of private entrepreneurs, Wilfredo Rojo. Both sectors hope to reach an agreement that allows overcoming the impasse.
The Bolivian State and the Bolivian Mining Corporation (Comibol) were excluded from the arbitration process that the Indian Jindal Steel began against the state-owned Mutun Steel Company (ESM), informed the Bolivian government. Jindal seeks compensation of $US86 million after the Morales Administration executed a warranty bill for not finishing the steel project in Mutun.
“By September this year, twelve of 31state-owned companies have implemented only 24.4% of their budget, according to the Ministry of Economy.