Bolivia and China sign an agreement for a $350 million zinc plant in Bolivia

Photo: Pixabay

Bolivian President Luis Arce announced the signing of an agreement between Bolivia’s Ministries of Mining and Planning for Development and the Chinese government to finance the construction of a zinc refinery in the Bolivian state of Oruro.

With a total investment of $350 million, the project will be supported by a 20-year, 2% interest loan from the Chinese Eximbank. The plant is expected to take 34 months to construct and will be a key driver for the industrialization of Oruro, particularly in the mining sector.

The annual processing capacity of the plant is projected at 150,000 tons of zinc concentrates, resulting in an annual production of 65,000 tons of metallic zinc and by-products. In addition to its economic benefits, the zinc refinery is expected to have a significant impact on employment and regional development. During the construction phase, 800 temporary jobs, 500 permanent jobs, and more than 2,000 indirect jobs will be created.

This project will also strengthen the national mining and metallurgical chain, adding value to Bolivia’s mineral resources, currently the world’s ninth largest exporter of zinc minerals.

From a socio-economic perspective, the plant is expected to contribute to sustainable growth, job creation, and economic development in the department of Oruro and the country as a whole.

As part of the government’s import substitution industrialization strategy, the zinc refinery is expected to begin operations in 2025. This project represents not only a strategic partnership with China, but also an important step in the diversification of the Bolivian economy.