SHANGHAI, Mar. 22 -- The Bolivian government was due to launch a tender last week for equipment at the mine owned by state tin company Empresa Minera Huanuni (EMH), where a large expansion project is currently underway, an official from the mining and metallurgy ministry told BNamericas. "This is a new call for tenders to provide equipment for the new plant that is being built at the mine. The tender from last year was declared void," the official said.
Mines minister José Pimentel told state news agency ABI that the ministry was already making the necessary changes in the tender, which this time will be by direct invitation and turnkey. The US$40 million project will involve the construction of a new mill to expand ore processing capacity to 3,000 tpd, roughly three times the throughput achieved up to 2008. Smaller scale investments at the existing mill had already boosted production last year, resulting in a rise in tin-in-concentrate output to 9,968 tonnes in 2009. The Huanuni mine last year accounted for just over half of Bolivia's total tin mine production of 19,575 tonnes.