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Bolivia: Indigenous rioting threaten Canadian mining company with nationalization

Monday, July 9th 2012 - 12:45 UTC
Full article 12 comments

Bolivia will consider nationalizing Canadian miner South American Silver Corp's silver property, President Evo Morales said on Sunday, following violent indigenous protests against the mining project. Read full article


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  • JohnN

    South American Silver Corp. Provides Further Update on Bolivia:

    Jul 09th, 2012 - 01:15 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    Evo could give a masterclass on how to maintain poverty.

    Jul 09th, 2012 - 01:31 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Conqueror

    Isn't this a wonderful and simple stratagem? First, you encourage a “foreign” company to enter your country and do the hard work of locating and determining the size and viability of some resources. Then you get some indigines to have a riot. Then you can “nationalise”, i.e. steal, the company. Not too difficult to come up with “reasons”, i.e. excuses, why compensation shouldn't be paid. “Look” they can say, look at the environmental damage!“ Difficult to locate and determine the size and viability of an underground resource without digging a hole. ”Foreign” companies really need to be assessing whether they should get out, or stay out, of these Latam countries.

    Jul 09th, 2012 - 04:17 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • rnbgr

    This mine is as good as nationalized. The only thing South American silver can do is try to get their equipment out of the country before it is confiscated. There will be foriegn companies that will invest in countries like Bolivia but they most likely be companies that are state backed and have leverage with the governments. And only one country has leverage with Bolivia, Argentina, Ecudor etc ... China !

    Jul 09th, 2012 - 05:20 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Pete Bog

    Firms really need their head testing investing in LATAM countries. Way back in 82 I pulled my money out of Lloyds Bank as they lent money to Argentina soon after the war. But the laugh was on them-they didn't get their money back.
    National machosistic pride abounds in these LATAM countries, but their income per head of capita is well below that of the Falkland Islands. The inability of the LATAM countries to eat humble pie, and re-adjust the real world means they will continue to get shafted as less foreign investors are disuaded from doing the donkey work in discovering resources.

    Jul 09th, 2012 - 08:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    That is the essence of business – weighing the risks against the returns. One supposes these companies evaluate the risks before getting involved, but at times their actions do seem quite naive.

    Don’t tar us all with the same brush.
    Credit rating agencies rating for different countries show the diverse level of risk across the continent. Chile at one extreme is rated as safer than most of Europe. Consequently there is an estimated $100 billion of foreign investment sitting in the pipeline.

    Jul 09th, 2012 - 09:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JohnN

    South American Silver Corp, headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia, is just one of hundreds of miners with HQs in Vancouver - all trying to make a buck on international mineral plays.

    They're pretty savvy about Latin American politics.

    The mining business totally volatile and variable, but just a guess that SASC will be demanding a lot higher political risk premium for its Malku Khota play in Bolivia than for its Escalones site in Chile, given that the corruption perception index and rule of law is so much more favourable for Chile.

    Jul 10th, 2012 - 12:42 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Chilean perspective

    @ 2 Condorito
    I agree with you. Bolivia is such a rich country bursting with natural resources, it wants for nothing except good leadership.
    A fun fact; they are three times the size of Germany but their GDP is smaller than the market cap of Cencosud and Falabella. A couple of retailers. It's hard to believe.

    Jul 10th, 2012 - 04:36 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    8 CP
    It is hard to believe and tragic. The depth of poverty and the scale of it in Bolivia is truly horrible, especially on the Altiplano. It is depressing that they are sitting on all that wealth and the only thing stopping them from having good schools and hospitals is imbecilic policies brought about by entrenched political positions. They should get Paulmann up there to run the show.

    Jul 10th, 2012 - 02:56 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JohnN

    Evo just got re-elected as president of Bolivia's coca-growers association, but how can a serving president of a country remain a leader of such an interest group with the inherent conflict of interest it reflects, and expect to be taken seriously?

    To say its all merely a product of Bolivian poverty is a weak argument, given that Bolivia's Corruption Perception Index score of 2.8/10 is only marginally worse than Argentina's 3/10, and is better than Venezuela's 1.9/10.

    Bolivia's Evo Morales re-elected coca growers' leader:

    CPI 2011:

    Jul 10th, 2012 - 03:10 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • British_Kirchnerist

    Bolivia's poverty is the result of decades if not centuries of capitalist and imperialist plunder, to now turn round and blame Morlaes for indicators that long predate him and which he has been elected to deal with is just absurd. I hope they nationalise quickly

    Jul 10th, 2012 - 10:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • JohnN

    Is “nationalizing” just Morales' code-word for shutting it down?

    “South American Silver reaffirms its cooperation with Bolivian authorities and its strong support for the indigenous people of the Malku Khota communities in their continuing efforts to bring a timely and peaceful resolution to this situation,” said Greg Johnson, South American Silver CEO. “The company looks forward to a constructive dialogue with regional and national governments along with the local indigenous authorities after this situation is resolved in order to agree on an approach to development that is inclusive of all communities in the project area.”

    The company continues to insist “the vast majority of the local indigenous communities living in the project area have signed multiple resolutions of support for the project and understand the potential social and economic benefits to their communities through the development of a world class, modern mine at Malku Khota.”

    South American Silver said it has “temporarily ceased all field activities while government-led talks proceed to see a peaceful solution.”

    Jul 11th, 2012 - 12:17 am - Link - Report abuse 0

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