Official statistics from the Bolivian Ministry of Minerals and Metals reveal a 13.8% quarter-on-quarter increase in refined tin output to 4,359 tonnes and a 7.9% increase in tin mine output to 4,726 tonnes in Q2 2017. Refined production saw a lower 1.8% increase and mine production a 7.8% increase relative to the same period of 2016.
Compared to Q1, production from state-owned mines registered an 18.7% increase in output while production from private companies remained relatively stable at 1,067 tonnes and cooperative mine production fell by around a third to 387 tonnes. Mine production from January to June 2017 totalled 9,107 tonnes, effectively unchanged from the same period of the previous year, while total refined tin production was 6% lower at 8,189 tonnes.
ITRI View: We expect to see Bolivian production total around 17,000 tonnes in 2017. Higher year-on-year production is anticipated in the second half of 2017 relative to 2016, when output was impacted a severe drought which impacted mine output, particularly at the state-owned Huanuni Mine. Processing infrastructure improvements should support Bolivian mine production in the long-term, with funding approved earlier this month by the Bolivian cabinet for a planned new US$75 million processing plant at the Colquiri tin-zinc mine. Construction is planned to begin next April, with completion targeted by the end of 2020. The plant could facilitate a doubling of output at the mine, which produced 4,231 tonnes of tin in 2016.