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ESM to build cement plant for El Mutun (Bolivia)
Bolivian state steel company ESM will build a cement plant for US$89mn with the support of Brazilian companies Votorantim and Camargo Correa, ESM board member Jose Padilla told BNamericas.


"This project seeks to meet the demand for inputs to build the infrastructure necessary for development of the El Mutun [iron ore and steel project] and will be installed 50km from the border with Brazil," he said.


There is a shortage of cement in Bolivia and the new plant aims to produce 750,000t/y. Construction is due to begin in 2011 and take 18 months, Padilla added.


In October Indian company Jindal Steel & Power began construction of the steel complex at the El Mutun iron ore deposit, located in Santa Cruz department.


In 2007, the Bolivian government created ESM to work with state miner Comibol and signed a JV with Jindal to develop El Mutun.


Jindal acquired 50% of El Mutun through a public bidding process in June 2006, and the JV contract stipulates that US$1.5bn be invested over the first five years in mining the deposit and starting up steel production, and US$2.1bn in total.


El Mutun is located in a 65km2 area of Santa Cruz's German Busch province and has 40Bt in reserves grading 50% iron ore.

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