Chinese, Russian, and U.S. companies join lithium extraction in Bolivia

Photo: US President Barack Obama during a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping By: U.S. Embassy The Hague. Fuente: Source.

Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos (YLB) President, Carlos Ramos, announced that four Chinese companies, namely Citic Guoan, Tbea Group, CATL BRUNP & CMOC (CBC), and Fusion Enertech, have successfully conducted tests of their Direct Lithium Lithiation Extraction (DLE) technology in Bolivia’s Potos铆 and Oruro salt flats. These companies participated in YLB’s international tender for EDL technology selection, and so far, CBC is the only one that has signed an agreement with the Bolivian government. The agreement involves a $1 billion investment and aims to commence battery-grade lithium production by 2025. Bolivia is currently in negotiations with other Chinese companies, such as Citic Guoan and Tbea Group, to undertake similar projects and drive economic development by adding value.

Additionally, Bolivia is anticipated to finalize agreements with four additional companies for lithium extraction in the Potos铆 and Oruro salt flats. Among the finalists in the EDL’s international bidding is Uranium One Group, a Russian state-owned corporation responsible for overseas uranium, non-ferrous, and rare metal extraction projects. According to YLB’s President, these four companies, which include Lilac Solutions from the United States, as well as China’s Citic Guoan and Tbea Group, have successfully tested their EDL technology in the same areas, achieving a lithium recovery rate exceeding 80%. Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy Franklin Molina mentioned that agreements will be signed with these companies to diversify investment sources, ensuring Bolivia’s economic growth continues to benefit from value creation, rather than relying solely on Chinese investment.

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Radar Energ茅tico. (2023, Marzo 26). Bolivia firmar铆a acuerdos con otras cuatro empresas y no solo con la china CBC para explotar el litio. Radar Energ茅tico.