Cuba’s new mine marks first foreign joint venture in twenty years

Global Business

A new zinc and lead mine has opened in Cuba. It’s the first foreign financed mining joint venture on the island for more than 20 years.

Michael Voss went to see it in operation and has this report.

The $300 million Emincar mine and processing project is a joint venture between the Cuban government and Trafigura, a Singapore-registered, Swiss-headquartered mining and oil trading conglomerate of Dutch origins.

“The Russians took a look at it but never developed it. Then Trafigura came along through a feasibility study and revised economics and a new way of doing the project. We managed to make it an economical project and bring it into production,” Daniel Vanin, Trafigura Chief Operating Officer said.

Ore extraction from the open cast mine began in July. The downstream processing plant, which will turn the rock into zinc and lead concentrate for export, is still under construction. The plant is due to become fully operational in October, providing work for almost 500 people.