SHANGHAI, July 15 -- The Bolivian government has approved 73.6mn bolivianos (US$10.2mn) to finance infrastructure works and equipment for the construction of state-owned tin producer Vinto's Ausmelt furnace, a company executive told Business News Americas "The money guarantees the works for the furnace's installation will begin," the executive said. The loan is for five years, with a one-and-a-half year grace period.
In separate stories BNAmericas reported problems with the project to build a new mill at the Huanuni mine and a new exploration initiative in Oruro province. The tender launched by the Bolivian government to provide equipment for state tin company Empresa Minera Huanuni's (EMH) mine complex in Oruro department has been declared void, Eduardo Lino, the head of Huanuni workers union said: "The tender was declared void because the only bidder that was close to meeting the technical requirements didn't have proven experience." The EMH expansion project will require an overall investment of US$40million which will be financed by the successful bidder and state miner Comibol. The project involves the construction of a new plant to increase concentrate production from 1,500 tpd to 3,000 tpd. Authorities are now considering launching a new tender for the equipment in which the terms of reference are not as difficult to comply with, according to the union head.
Finally, the Bolivian mining and metallurgy ministry said that it will start new exploration in several mining areas in Oruro department, where there is evidence of lead, copper, silver and tin. "There are high expectations for mining in the region and we are interested in developing areas that could provide jobs," the spokesperson said. The Vinto smelter and Huanuni mine are both in Oruro province.