MAC: Mines and Communities

Bolivia nationalizes Glencore antimony smelter

Published by MAC on 2010-05-07
Source: Associated Press, Reuters

The Bolivian government takes over a small antimony smelter plant owned by Glencore subsidiary, Sinchi Wayra, near the Vinto Plant in Oruro.

Vinto was built under the military dictator Hugo Banzer, in the 1970s. The Bolivian government sold the smelter in 2001 to Allied Deals, which later sold it to Comsur, a private mining company whose largest stockholder at the time was former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. Glencore bought the plant from Comsur in 2004, but later was nationalizated by Morales' government in 2007. See:



Bolivia takes over antimony smelter owned by Glencore of Switzerland

Associated Press (AP)

2 May 2010

LA PAZ, Bolivia - Bolivia's socialist government says it is taking over an antimony smelter owned by Swiss commodities company Glencore.

Government minister Oscar Coca says the Vinto antimony smelter has been largely inactive and the government hopes to revive it.

Mining Minister Jose Pimentel announced the government decree at the smelter on Sunday.

The Vinto smelter is a part of Sinchi Wayra, a wholly owned subsidiary of Glencore International AG of Baar, Switzerland.

Bolivia nationalizes Glencore antimony smelter


2 May 2010

LA PAZ - Bolivia's leftist government said on Sunday it had taken over a small antimony smelter plant owned by a unit of Glencore, a day after nationalizing four power companies, accusing the giant Swiss commodity trader of under-investing.

"The Vinto-Antimonio plant reverts to state ownership starting now," said Presidency Minister Oscar Coca. "In recent years, there has been a lack of productivity at the plant. It has practically been in the process of being dismantled."

"There has been no investment ..., which jars with the policies of this government," he added.

The Vinto-Antimonio plant belongs to local firm Colquiri, owned by Sinchi Wayra, which is in turn a subsidiary of Glencore.

In 2007, the government nationalized Glencore's Empresa Metalurgica Vinto.

Sunday's privatization is the latest step in President Evo Morales' bid to tighten state control over the economy of the impoverished Andean nation.

Morales on Saturday nationalized four power companies, including a subsidiary of France's GDF Suez and a unit of Britain's Rurelec plc.

A close ally of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, Morales nationalized Bolivia's natural gas industry soon after taking office in 2006 and the government has since taken control of several utility companies as well as the Andean nation's biggest smelter and top telecommunications firm.

(Reporting by Diego Ore. Editing by Simon Gardner)

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