Canada’s Prospectors and Developers Association estimates that approximately twenty Canadian mining companies operate in Bolivia. Canadian companies join other foreign business enterprises, finding it more difficult to operate there, due to new government policies being instituted by Bolivian president, Evo Morales.
Morales’ leftist regime has been operating in Bolivia since 2006. The Bolivian government has recently made the decision to nationalize the Colquiri tin and zinc mine, owned by Glencore International PLC. The move has led precious metals mining concerns, like Orvana, who operates the Don Mario gold, silver and copper mine in eastern Bolivia to fear that they may be next. The fear is legitimate, since new constitutional changes in the country will require mining companies to become joint operators with the Bolivian government.
Some mining companies are not waiting around for the other shoe to drop, but others continue to operate normally amid rising hostilities between independent Bolivian mining cooperatives and foreign mining enterprises.