Bolivian tin smelter, Metallurgical Company (EMV), announced profits of US$ 3.5 million in the first half of 2015 and also outlined progress on testing of its new Ausmelt furnace, local sources report.

The first half revenues were reported on Tuesday by EMV General Manager Ramiro Villavicencio and compare favourably to annual profits of $ 5.4 million recorded in 2014. Unlike the tin mines in , the company has not been affected by the fall in international tin prices, particularly as the smelter operates on a near zero inventory basis and thus does not hold significant quantities of tin concentrate. Villavicencio indicated that the company’s profit margin falls within 6-12%.

The Ausmelt furnace will soon enter production with the final phase of testing underway, which includes hot commissioning and optimisation of the production process. The company is confident that supply of raw material for the smelter is guaranteed from the Huanuni and Colquiri state operated mines and from a number of cooperatives and trading companies. EMV is projecting annual refined tin production of 12,000 tonnes in 2015 which it aims to increase to 18,400 tonnes by 2018.