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Bolivia’s iconic salt flats are home to world’s largest lithium resources but it has long struggled to ramp up output.
Bolivia has signed lithium agreements with Russian state nuclear firm Rosatom and China’s Citic Guoan Group, the South American country’s government has said, as it looks to develop its huge but largely untapped resources of the battery metal.
The deals, which were announced , envisaged a total investment of $1.4bn and followed a similar agreement in January with giant Chinese battery maker CATL, another potential win for Beijing in its efforts to lock in a supply of the metal used in electric vehicles.
“With these deals, our country will be able to produce some 100,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate in 2025 in the Uyuni, Coipasa and Pasto Grandes salt flats,” Minister of Hydrocarbons and Energy Franklin Molina said at an event in La Paz.
Bolivia’s iconic salt flats are home to the world’s largest lithium resources at 21 million tonnes, according to the United States Geological Survey, but the country has long struggled to ramp up industrial production or develop commercially viable reserves.