LA PAZ – South Korea’s Kores found a “gigantic copper deposit” near Corocoro, a town located about 110 kilometers (68 miles) southwest of La Paz, that could produce up to 30,000 tons per year for nearly two decades, a high-level Bolivian government official said.
Kores expects “production of 30,000 tons of cathodic copper per year, meaning that the project’s useful life could be approximately 18 years,” Bolivian Mining Corporation, or Comibol, chief Hector Cordoba told the official ABI news agency.
“The value of this deposit would be around $4 billion,” Cordoba said.
Kores has discovered Bolivia’s largest copper deposit and one of the most promising in South America, with reserves of at least 100 million tons, of which more than 500,000 tons of metallic copper can be processed.
Other minerals, such as manganese and silver, were also found at the site, “making the deposit that much more valuable,” Cordoba said.
Kores “is going to continue conducting studies before starting production at the deposit” the Comibol chief said.
Production could start in late 2012, with total investment approaching $200 million, the largest sum that South Korea has targeted for a project in Latin America, Cordoba said.
Nearly 90 percent of Bolivia’s revenues come from the production of natural gas and extraction of minerals. EFE