Bolivia has the world’s largest reserves of lithium, with 21 million tons, according to a new study by SRK, a us mining consultancy, the government said.
Bolivia High-Energy Technology Vice Minister Luis Alberto Echazu said, before the survey, Bolivia had the world’s largest lithium reserves. But the American company SRK detected the lithium resources reserves are estimated 2 times more than before, which means that Bolivia has more lithium resources advantage.
Bolivian lithium resources are mainly distributed in the salaresde Uyuni in the province of departamentode Potosí. It is the largest salt-covered wilderness in the world, also known as the “sky territory”, covering an area of about 10,000 square meters.
Mr Eichazu said Bolivia was in the early stages of lithium exploitation and was close to forming alliances with companies from Europe and Asia to acquire the technology needed to develop the resource.
Mr Echarsu stressed that President Evo Morales, who has nationalised the mining industry since coming to power in 2006, wanted a model for extracting lithium resources that respected Bolivia’s sovereignty.
Eichazu also pointed out that in South America, Chile has the second largest lithium reserves in the world, and is one of the countries with the largest lithium resources in the world. Chile, together with Australia, is a global power in lithium resources.
Bolivian has formed a joint venture with German ACI System to develop the lithium resources in the uyuni salt lake. Supplying the manufacturing of lithium batteries for vehicles and the production of lithium hydroxide, with an investment of about 900 million us dollars. It is worth pointing out that the industrialization of lithium resources is one of the development priorities of Evo Morales government.
In addition, Chinese enterprise TBEA has become a “strategic partner” of Bolivia in implementing a number of lithium resource industrialization projects. The total investment of this project is estimated to be RMB 15.5 billion yuan.