Bolivia ‘Nationalizes’ Colquiri Mine
Glencore is protesting the action taken by the Government of Bolivia and reserves its rights to seek fair compensation pur-suant to all available domestic and inter-national remedies. The Colquiri mine has paid royalties, taxes and fees to the Bolivian State of more than $70 million, according to Glencore. Payments from all of its operations to Bolivia and Comibol have been in excess of $300 million. Capital investment across its operations in Bolivia has totaled more than $80 million ($22 million in Colquiri).
The Colquiri nationalization was announced just as Glencore was finalizing the renegotiation of its mining contracts with Bolivia. The new agreement would have provided for a state participation of up to 55% of the profits (increasing the total government take to 77%-79%), and would have included further investment commitments from Glencore of more than $160 million over the next five years, of which at least $56 million alone would have been invested in the Colquiri mine.
To date, Glencore has invested over $250 million in the Bolivian mining indus-try and wider economy, the company said in a prepared statement. “Our investment provides several communities with jobs, education, access to healthcare and improved infrastructure. The action taken by Bolivia will pose a number of serious questions relating to the government’s future policy toward foreign investment in the mining sector.”