LatinNews Daily - 30 June 2023

In brief: Bolivia inks lithium deals with Russia and China

* Bolivia’s state-owned lithium company Yacimientos del Litio Bolivianos (YLB) has announced that it has signed agreements worth US$1.4bn to develop its lithium production with Russia’s state atomic energy corporation Rosatom and Chinese investment group CITIC Guoan Group. According to Bolivia’s hydrocarbons & energy minister, Franklin Molina, the new agreements mean that Bolivia will be able to produce over 100,000 tonnes (t) of lithium carbonate per year by 2025. Molina said that the investment would fund the construction of two direct lithium extraction (DLE) processing plants in the salt flats of Pastos Grandes and Uyuni Norte in Potosí department, which would be capable of producing at least 45,000t of lithium per year. CITIC Guoan, which is investing US$857m in Uyuni, is also seeking to invest in the development of battery factories and an electric vehicle assembly plant. Speaking at the official announcement, Bolivia’s President Luis Arce said that Bolivia has signed agreements this year worth US$2.8bn for the industrialisation of lithium, following a deal signed in January with a consortium including Chinese consortium CATL BRUNP & CMOC (CBC).

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