Bolivia nationalises Glencore mine


GLENCORE INTERNATIONAL, the world’s largest publicly traded commodities supplier, said it “strongly protests” the nationalisation of its Colquiri tin and zinc mine by the Bolivian government.

Glencore “reserves its rights to seek fair compensation pursuant to all available domestic and international remedies”, it said in a statement.

Swiss-based Glencore received a signed government decree nationalising Colquiri with immediate effect. Bolivia said on June 20th that Colquiri would be handed to state mining company Comibol to manage.

President Evo Morales (52), an ally of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, has raised taxes and seized mines, oil refineries and power companies since taking power in 2006. He also nationalised Glencore’s Vinto tin smelter in 2007.

Glencore said the Colquiri mine’s royalty, tax and fee payments to the Bolivian state exceed $70 million. Payments from all its operations to the government and Comibol were over $300 million.

State news agency ABI said the government would take 120 days to determine what compensation to pay Glencore. – (Bloomberg)