MAC: Mines and Communities

Comibol, APM reach settlement over Karachipampa - Bolivia

Published by MAC on 2011-06-07
Source: Business News Americas (2011-06-01)

The conflict between Bolivia's state-owned mining company, Comibol, and Canadian precious metals processor, APM, over who takes financial responsibility for the latter's mothballed Karachipampa plant, appears to have been resolved.

- And without the parties going to arbitration, nor with Comibol having to fork out the full US$850,000 in compensation to APM.

Earlier story see:- Bolivia says it will stand up to threat of arbitration over stalled metals plant

ESPAÑOL

APM leaves Karachipampa, remains open to future projects - Bolivia

By Harvey Beltrán

Business News Americas

1 June 2011

Canada's Atlas Precious Metals (APM) has returned the Karachipampa polymetallurgical plant to the Bolivian state and will leave the country, but it is keeping the door open to developing another mining or metallurgical project in the future, APM's lawyer Jorge del Valle told BNamericas.

"At some point, Atlas may return to Bolivia under different conditions and with better guarantees of legal security. That is what the company's executives expect," del Valle said.

In the settlement between APM and state miner Comibol, the former agreed to accept US$750,000 in compensation for investments made in the plant.

"That's why APM's executives accepted such a small payment, which doesn't even cover one-fifth of what has been invested in Bolivia. The important thing is to leave a good impression and the possibility of participating in a new tender," he said.

The company invested about US$5mn, according to del Valle.

In 2005, Comibol and APM signed a JV agreement to activate the plant to treat silver-lead-zinc concentrates. APM had a 65% share and the Bolivian state held the remainder. APM was to invest US$141mn in the project.

Spanish company Zincobre Ingeniería is currently working with Comibol for the activation of Karachipampa, with the goal of operations starting up in the next few months.

The plant, located in Potosí department, was completed in 1983 at a cost of US$500mn but has not yet seen production.


Comibol, APM reach settlement over Karachipampa - Bolivia

By Harvey Beltrán

Business News Americas

31 May 2011

A settlement between Canada's Atlas Precious Metal (APM) and Bolivian state miner Comibol for the Karachipampa polymetallurgical plant has prevented APM from taking legal action, APM lawyer Jorge del Valle told BNamericas.

"The agreement involves making a [US$750,000] payment, and once the payment is made the issue will be closed. It's the end of APM's involvement in Karachipampa," del Valle said.

The settlement stipulates that the Bolivian government has until June 5 to pay APM US$750,000 as compensation for its investments in the plant.

In April, APM announced that it was considering filing a request for arbitration with the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) over Karachipampa.

Spanish company Zincobre Ingeniería is currently working with Comibol on feasibility studies, basic engineering, cost estimation, preliminary planning and detailed engineering studies for the activation of Karachipampa.

The deputy minister of productive development, Héctor Córdova, recently told BNamericas that the plant already has the necessary supply of zinc, silver and lead concentrates to begin operating in three months.

Karachipampa is expected to be producing metallic lead and silver in H2.

The plant, located in Potosí department, was completed in 1983 at a cost of US$500mn but has not yet seen production.

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