China to help fund El Mutún iron ore project in Bolivia

Friday, 26 September 2014 01:03:57 (GMT+3)   |   Monterrey

Bolivian President Evo Morales announced Thursday that China will provide a loan of US$405 million to process iron ore in the El Mutún deposit, which is located on the border with Brazil and Paraguay, according to local news.

"The first phase of production will provide 150 million tons of steel that will allow us to reduce steel imports by 60 percent," Morales told reporters.

The Mutún mine contains an estimated 40-42 billion tons of minerals, mainly iron ore, but mining the desposit has a history of complications: in 2007, the state-owned Empresa Siderurgica del Mutun formed a joint venture with India's Jindal Steel & Power, but for various reasons Jindal was unable to develop and exploit the mine. Jindal won a lawsuit last month awarding the company US$22.5 million, but the Morales administration is appealing.

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