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Bolivia mining exports decline through April

Bnamericas Published: Saturday, June 04, 2016

Bolivia's mining exports dropped 9.6% year-on-year to US$524mn over the January to April period, the government said.

Exports of zinc, lead, copper, tin, silver, gold, tungsten and antimony minerals declined from US$579mn a year ago, the Andean country's national statistics institute said in a statement.

Exports fell because of declining metals prices, while state mining company Comibol was forced to close both its Karachipampa silver-lead smelter and the El Mutún iron ore mine last year.

Zinc exports dropped 8.9% to US$245mn, while silver fell 7.1% to US$190mn and copper plunged 58.8% to US$8.4mn, according to the institute. Gold declined 24.1% to US$7.2mn, while tungsten and antimony both fell by about half to US$4.6mn and US$1.1mn, respectively, it said. Lead rose 20.9% to US$51mn, while tin fell 3.5% to US$4.6mn.

Refined gold exports, which are reported separately, slid 4.4% to US$246mn, the agency said. Refined silver fell 13.0% to US$28.6mn, while copper cathodes plunged 63.8% to US$1.3mn, according to the agency. Refined tin dropped 8.5% to US$87mn, while antimony plummeted 67.5% to US$3.1mn.

Overall, Bolivian exports dropped 30% to US$2.17bn from US$3.11bn a year earlier. Oil and gas exports, which slumped by half to US$770mn in the period, accounted for the bulk of the total.

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