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Bolivian mining-metals company Comsur expects to increase its production 5-10% in 2005, mainly from its Bolívar, Porco and Colquiri mines, company vice-president Carlos Mirabal told BNamericas.
The mines' infrastructure is being improved and output sped up through investments to achieve this, he said.
In the Bolívar mine, Comsur is producing zinc and lead-silver concentrates at a rate of more than 1,200t/m. Investments in infrastructure here would be nearly US$3mn
In Colquiri, a tin and zinc mine in La Paz department, the investment would be US$2mn in mine infrastructure.
The company has two additional projects to increase production, one is Colquiri tailings treatment, "where we expect to recover tailings stored from 1940-1980, requiring an investment of nearly US$20mn to install a treatment plant" Mirabal said.
Another project is the development of the Poopó zinc and lead mine in Oruro department. "It's an underground mine that treats 700t/d of ore, a mine-plant complex, with a development budget of US$18mn," he said.
Bolivian tin company Empresa Metalúrgica Vinto (EMV) "is very old, so it will be necessary to carry out a renewal program for the equipment to make sure it is operable. The investment plan will be a little more than US$2mn for 2005," Mirabal added.
EMV is controlled by a consortium of Comsur and the UK's Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC).
Meanwhile, local requests continue for the return of EMV control to Bolivia's state mining corporation Comibol. "This is nothing new. There will always be those with a personal agenda," Mirabal said.
EMV is 7.5km from the city of Oruro in southwest Bolivia.
Comsur, Bolivia's largest mining company, has several mines, which produce zinc, lead, tin, gold and silver. It also owns smelters as well as a sulfuric acid plant in Argentina.