OMSA > History
Who we Are?

Operaciones Metalúrgicas S. A. - OMSA is the first tin smelter in Bolivia and is strategically positioned within the center of the Bolivian Tin Belt. The smelter is located in the department of Oruro 210 Km. south of La Paz, the major city and seta of government in Bolivia.

“The First Tin Smelter in Bolivia” was founded by Mariano Peró Aramayo, with the introduction of rotary furnaces for the reduction of 50% tin concentrates. This was the first tin smelter in the world to use rotary furnaces for the reduction of tin. On May 30, 1937 the construction of the plant was initiated and by 1940 high grade metallic tin of 99.85% purity was being exported.

71 years later OMSA equipment and technology have been enhanced and modernized constantly and actually our production is exceeding today’s demanding levels of impurities for international markets. Nevertheless the rotary furnaces are still representing the heart of our operation.

Historical Summary

OMSA is located east of the City of Oruro (3.730 m.a.s.l.), 3,5 Km. on the highway to Cochabamba, in the Huajara Industrial Park. The total gross area of the smelter installations extension is of 14 Hectares and developed surface of 10,000 m2. The total installed electrical power is 2,5 MW.

The period of metallurgical activity of the company comprises now 71 years, constituting itself by this fact in the pioneer of industrial smelting in Bolivia.

Our main achievement is the production of premium tin metal (< 15 ppm Pb) from low grade concentrates (10 to 30% Sn content) or from highgrade concentrate ( 45% Sn and higher content), using for this intention its units of volatilization (Fuming Furnace) and reduction (Rotary Furnaces)

Prior to March 2000 OMSA had limited the production to a crude (“unwrought”) metal which was sold without final refining. On March 2000 the use of new technology allowed the installation of final cleaner stage and as of that date, our metallic tin complies with the A1 degree of the “Copant” norm. More recently and due to the market demands OMSA even has reduced the content of lead below international standards.

The monthly capacity of the plant is of 280 fine tonnes of metallic tin of 99.97%, with impurity contents of =15 ppm of lead, = 150 ppm of antimony and =300 ppm of bismuth.

Due to stricter environmental laws passed on April of 1992 in Bolivia, OMSA was forced to leave the original site in the proximities of the city. For 6 months OMSA stopped production and rebuilt its plant in the current location. For almost two years until January 1994 only volatilization dusts were produced to maintain the cash flow and to complete the relocation. Year by year all environmental regulations have been implemented and currently new equipment is being installed to meet the legal levels of emissions and international regulations.

The quality control of metallic products is carried out in the laboratories of S. G. S. For the monitoring of our operations and the control of the tin contents and impurities in the raw material, we have our own chemical laboratory equipped with necessary analytical instruments. The purchase of concentrates is supervised and controlled by Alex Stewart Assayers.

The objective of the company, is to reach a capacity of 300 fine tonnes of metallic tin per month in one year without compromising the quality of its product, and even reduce current levels of impurities.