Peru and Bolivia
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Bolivia mining exports slump in Jan-Feb

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Bolivia's mining exports dropped 19.5% year-on-year to US$237mn through February, the government said.

Together, exports of zinc, lead, copper, tin, silver, gold, tungsten and antimony minerals declined from US$294mn a year ago, the national statistics institute said in a statement. Exports fell because of slumping metals prices, while state mining company Comibol shut down both its Karachipampa silver-lead smelter and the El Mutún iron ore mine last year.

Zinc exports declined 17.4% to US$113mn, while silver dropped 20.7% to US$83.6mn and copper plunged 58.6% to US$4.3mn, according to the institute. Gold, tungsten and antimony all fell by around half to US$2.7mn, US$2.2mn and US$500,000, respectively, it said. Lead rose 6% to US$24mn, while tin jumped 58.5% to US$3mn.

Refined gold exports, which are reported separately, were little changed at US$118mn, the agency said. Both Bolivian and Peruvian authorities have admitted that illegal mining operations in the Amazon jungle are smuggling gold shipments across their mutual border.

Refined silver rose 4% to US$13.4mn, while copper cathodes gained 8% to US$1.3mn, according to the agency. Refined tin dropped 7.7% to US$43mn, while antimony plummeted 63.8% to US$1.5mn.

Overall, Bolivian exports dropped 31.5% to US$1.044bn from US$1.523bn a year earlier. Oil and gas exports, which slumped by nearly half to US$401mn in the period, accounted for almost 40% of the total.

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