Local lawyers have warned of the steps foreign sponsors and investors
must take to protect future Bolivian mining projects, following the
announced nationalisation of Glencore's local tin and zinc mine.
The warnings are particularly pressing for US entities, following the Bolivian government's termination of the countries' bilateral investment treaty (BIT) in May.
Leftist president Evo Morales has nationalised parts of the
hydrocarbon, telecoms and electricity industry since taking office in
2006. But the country's lucrative mining industry had remained
untouched, until now.
"There hasn't been many mining companies nationalised, this [Glencore] is really the first private company," said Andres Moreno Gutierrez, a partner with Bolivian firm Moreno Baldivieso.
Despite Morales' tradition of May Day nationalisations, soaring global commodities prices means the high risk, high reward opportunities presented by the country's mining sector have attracted large amounts of foreign investment in recent years.
When it comes to protecting their local investments,...