A chinese company, has won a bidding process to develop bolivia’s huge lithium reserves. the project will involve an investment of more than $1bn in its first phase, and bolivia’s reserves are estimated at 21 million tonnes. bolivia is still negotiating with other foreign companies for potential partnerships, with the goal of starting to export lithium batteries in the first quarter of 2025. the lithium is found in the potosi and oruro salt flats, which are part of the “lithium triangle” shared by argentina, bolivia and chile.
the project is expected to start in the first quarter of 2025, and will take place in the potosi and oruro salt flats in the “lithium triangle” shared by argentina, bolivia and chile. brine is pumped from beneath the salt flats into vast evaporation pools, which leaves behind lithium carbonate.
the process of lithium mining has raised concerns about pollution and commercial viability, and has been met with opposition from south america and other parts of the world. however, production of lithium is expected to soar in the coming years as fossil fuels are phased out, and bolivian president luis arce has declared the catl-led consortium’s project as the “historic” industrialisation of lithium in bolivia.