The project to build a high-speed railway to connect the El Mutún iron ore deposit in Bolivia's Santa Cruz department with a Pacific ocean port will be defined in April, state steel company ESM board member José Padilla told BNamericas.
"President Evo Morales is going to China in April because the country is offering to build the railroad and we expect the issue to be worked out there," Padilla said.
In January, the Bolivian government began studies for a railway to transport production from El Mutún to either a Chilean or Peruvian port.
The Chinese are very keen on the high-speed train because it could transport large volumes of cargo, according to Padilla.
Padilla recently told BNamericas that the issue of infrastructure at El Mutún is urgent.
Although India's Jindal Steel & Power is carrying out a feasibility study for the infrastructure needed to export ore, Padilla believes that building a railroad to Puerto Busch that connects the area to a port is of the utmost importance.
Jindal has a JV with state miner Comibol to develop El Mutún.
El Mutún is located in a 65km2 area of Santa Cruz's Germán Busch province and has 40Bt in reserves grading 50% iron ore.