The Bolivian, state-owned, Colquiri Mining Company generated reduced profits of just over US$ 5 million in the first 8 months of 2015, as a result of the falling tin price, according to local news sources.
The executive secretary of the mine workers union at Colquiri, Orlando Gutiérrez, revealed the information as part of a profit warning for the current financial year. He stated that total profits in 2014 were US$ 20 million but were expected to be far below that in 2015, despite the implementation of cost saving measures to ensure an acceptable profit margin is maintained for the operation. The official also stated that there is now peace between the salaried miners who work on behalf of the state and the co-operative miners who operate the higher levels of the Colquiri mine, following a dispute in June.
The company is also lobbying the Ministry of Mining to invest $ 100 million in 8 planned projects to improve production and increase known mineral resources. This includes the acquisition of a 2,000 tonne capacity concentrator plant. Other projects include construction of a new tailings dam, a new water processing plant, and implementation of a diamond drilling exploration program.
ITRI View: Whilst the larger Bolivian state-run tin mine, Huanuni, recorded losses in the first half of the year and has been subject to urgent cost cutting measures. The Colquiri mine has remained profitable despite the lower tin price and its finances are healthy. The two mines produced a total of 12,361 tonnes of tin in 2014 and both are under pressure to increase production, although this will largely depend on the willingness of the central government to continue funding investments in the two mining operations over the coming years.