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A General Outlook of Bolivian Mining: The New Mining Code

Teddy Cuentas Bascope, Mineral Development in Latin America (1997)

As of 1952, and well into the 80's, the Bolivian mining industry's main characteristic was its ownership, the State, which played a protectionist and leading rol in production.

Under this model, all regulations related to mining property were focused to guarantee a fast, easy acces by the Corporación Minera de Bolivia, COMIBOL ( Bolivian Mining Corporation) to the land's mineral resources, thus giving the Corporation a limitless operational frame, and allowing it to perform its main objective as the main source of mining production. Juridical security of private mining ownership , was indeed a secondary objective.

Prior to 1986,large mineralized, areas of the Bolivian land, were assigned to COMIBOL by the State; all these land allocations had a 5 Km security border zone (aprox 8.06 miles) within which private rights to ownership were banned.

Juridical regulations on fiscal reserves were created parallel to the Mining Code which was current at the time1,and which covered more than 70% of the total mineralized areas of the country, thus, private access to such territories were only available through concessional rights trough concession -contract agreements, and leasing contracts; all for limited periods of time, which were also subject to contractual, economic, technical, and financial clauses.

Such arrangements, created a high degree of manag