Violence erupts at Glencore's Bolivian mine

Reuters reports on Friday that fights between rival miners erupted at a Bolivian tin and zinc mine on Thursday.  The infighting occurred at the Colquiri mine owned by the global commodities giant Glencore.

Yesterday, in a report to Bloomberg, Bolivian Mining Minister Mario Virreira said "the government intends to revoke a lease granted to Glencore International AG to operate a tin and zinc mine."  The move names Comibol, the state mining company, as the new operator.

Recently the Bolivian government under President Evo Morales, has been making the case for greater state control of many of the country's mineral and energy commodities.  It is believed that the violence began when Glencore workers tried to forcefully take back control of the mine from a rival state-based company.

There is history behind the fighting seen at the Colquiri mine.  Six years ago similar circumstances saw violence break out over access to the state-controlled Huanuni mine.  The clash ended in the death of 17 people.

Bolivia is a current hot spot for investors as President Morales has been in consultation with local leaders to allow the extraction of resources originally thought to be untouchable.

 

Read more on Bolivia's decision to allow foreign companies access.