May 20, 2010 / 7:16 PM / 10 years ago

Pan American Silver to boost Bolivia output in 2010

* San Vicente could produce up to 3.2 mln oz of silver

* Pan American investing $40 mln in Argentina studies

LIMA, May 20 (Reuters) - Pan American Silver PAA.TO (PAAS.O) sees the output of its San Vicente mine in Bolivia increasing by nearly 25 percent this year, after surging threefold in 2009, a company executive said on Thursday.

Construction of a new processing facility allowed San Vicente, in the center of the silver-rich Potosi region, to boost output to some 2.6 million ounces of silver last year from 875,000 in 2008.

“We produced 840,000 ounces of silver in the first quarter and the plan for this year is to get to 3 million, or 3.2 million and we’ll keep it like that,” Pan American Silver’s Vice President for Geology and Exploration Michael Steinmann told reporters.

Steinmann spoke at a biannual meeting of gold miners in Lima.

State-run mining company Comibol has a 37 percent stake in San Vicente, while Pan American has the remaining 63 percent.

Stainmann also said that Pan American is investing $40 million in pre-feasibility and feasibility studies for their Navidad project in Argentina, which he said has the potential to make Pan American a very large silver producer.

Pan American mined 26.6 million ounces of silver in 2009.

The company operates in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. (Reporting by Eduardo Garcia; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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