In 2023, Empresa Siderurgica del Mutun (ESM), a prominent Bolivian steel and iron ore company, reported a notable decline in iron ore exports from the El Mutun region. The company exported 130,000 metric tons of iron ore during the year, marking a significant drop of half the volume exported in 2022.
CEO Jorge Alvarado Rivas attributed the decline to logistical challenges, citing issues with high freight rates and a reduced availability of barges for transporting ore through the Paraguay River to Atlantic Ocean ports. Despite the sharp decrease, Rivas emphasized that the volume remained consistent with pre-2022 export levels, highlighting 2022 as an exceptional year for iron ore exports from the project.
Looking ahead to 2024, Rivas revealed that ESM is actively engaged in discussions with Glencore, the Swiss-based global commodities trading and mining company, and J&F Mineração, a Brazilian mining firm. The negotiations aim to boost iron ore exports, with the ambitious goal of reaching 600,000 metric tons in 2024.
El Mutun boasts vast iron ore reserves estimated at a staggering 40 billion metric tons, solidifying its position as one of the largest reserves globally. As ESM navigates challenges in the export landscape, strategic partnerships and negotiations with key industry players signify a proactive approach to enhance iron ore exports from this resource-rich Bolivian region.
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